While commentating on Monday night’s game, ESPN commentator Jason Witten blasted Washington’s decision to claim linebacker Reuben Foster after San Francisco cut him following a domestic violence arrest. Ignoring the action on the field, Witten instead talked about the acquisition of Foster, who isn’t playing while the league investigates the latest claim against him.
“I believe the Washington Redskins used horrendous judgment in claiming this guy,” Witten said during the broadcast.
That has resulted in Witten facing questions about why he wasn’t so vocal about his own team, the Cowboys, signing Greg Hardy. At a time when the rest of the NFL wanted nothing to do with Hardy because of his own domestic violence accusation, Hardy was signed by Dallas, where he shared a locker room with Witten. Why didn’t Witten speak out then?
As noted by Robert Littal of BlackSportsOnline.com, Witten even described himself as “really pleased” with Hardy as a teammate, praising him for hard work and noting that he kept working out while serving his NFL suspension for domestic violence.
Witten saw that criticism and said that he did object to Hardy joining the Cowboys — but he did so behind closed doors.
“Privately, I let my opinion be known and agreed to disagree,” Witten wrote on Twitter. “That day after practice I chose not to be divisive. Prob went too far. On Monday with platform and no longer member of a team, I spoke my mind.”
Witten deserves credit for speaking out against domestic violence through his foundation, which matches positive male mentors with children whose families have been in domestic violence shelters. But when he had the chance to speak out powerfully by condemning his own team, he punted.