Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis gave the perfect response to ESPN Bucs reporter Jenna Laine after a recent incident with Gio Bernard.
It’s been a tough week for Jenna Laine, the ESPN reporter who has been criticized by athletes and journalists alike for the mishandling of a locker room interview with Bucs running back Gio Bernard.
In sports media, opinions on Laine’s handling of the situation are divided, with some journalists agreeing that Laine and the reporters alongside her were simply doing their jobs. Laine and another Bucs reporter featured in the video, Greg Auman, have both publicly apologized and have expressed a desire to apologize to Bernard directly.
While the journalists involved seem eager to move on from the situation, at least one Bucs players wanted to address the Bernard situation himself. When Laine asked Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis what he thought about the Cardinals skill players he’ll face this Sunday, he completely ignored her question and spoke up for his teammate instead.
“There was an incident with Gio Bernard, and just as a team, we feel as if the people who are supposed to be on our side should be on our side,” Davis said. “Because it happened to him, we understand that it can happen to any one of us, so right now we just feel that it’s a sensitive subject to talk about when we do talk to you guys and how vulnerable we can be at times. I don’t wanna shout nobody out, but it’s just a respect thing. I respect you doing your job, you respect me doing my job.”
Carlton Davis ignores Jenna Laine’s question by offering commentary on Gio Bernard situation
Davis’ response makes it clear that for at least one Buccaneer, the way that reporters spoke to Gio Bernard following the game, the publicizing and justifying the interaction, came across as disrespectful.
There’s as much to be said about what Davis did say as what he left unsaid. If fellow Bucs players choose to answer similarly or become less cooperative with media, all while politely responding to questions, it could spell trouble for journalists who tarnish their reputations with players.
Laine has continued to interview Bucs coaches and players, including asking head coach Todd Bowles if he team is lacking in “mental toughness” — a question that could easily come across as offensive to any locker room.
While everyone else is continuing to respond to media questions, Davis pulled off a classy, respectful response that would make Marshawn Lynch proud. As much as Davis meant his words, he tried to hide his grin at completely skipping over a game question to make a statement: what’s done to one of us is done to all of us.