Antonio Brown’s one-sided spat with JuJu Smith-Schuster had former USC football players jumping to defend the Trojan star.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was a USC football fan favorite and he has continued to win people over with his fun-loving style in the NFL. Legitimate production in two years as a pro hasn’t hurt either.
Of course, not everyone has taken so kindly to Smith-Schuster. Specifically, one person hasn’t: his former Pittsburgh Steelers teammate Antonio Brown.
Here’s the background in case you missed it over the weekend.
Spurred on by what appears to be jealousy, Brown responded to a Steelers’ fan’s reminder that Smith-Schuster was voted the team’s MVP with a pretty petty shot at the former Trojan’s costly fumble in the penultimate game of the 2018 regular season.
Smith-Schuster rightly responded with the equivalent of the confused Nick Young meme in a string of tweets.
First, he quoted Brown himself, who tweeted earlier in the day to “Keep your emotions off the internet.”
Then he expressed genuine disappointment over Brown’s cheapshot.
Needless to say, Smith-Schuster won the opening salvo of this very strange and one-sided feud.
Brown wasn’t done, however, trying to take another shot at Smith-Schuster on Monday by posting a screenshot of a DM Smith-Schuster sent him while at USC.
It was a definite self-own by Brown, who just demonstrated how well-meaning, gracious and polite Smith-Schuster has been since he was a teenager.
And while Smith-Schuster doesn’t exactly need defending at this stage, having won the court-of-public-opinion battle over Brown pretty handily, the Trojan Family went to bat for one of their own.
Steelers teammate Zach Banner responded by calling Brown a “wanna b bully” and throwing his support behind Smith-Schuster.
Other Trojans past and present weighed in, with universal backing for Smith-Schuster and criticism of Brown’s approach.
Retired center Cole Smith retweeted a succinct takedown of Brown.
Tight end Taylor McNamara also had an effective retweet to address the situation.
USC’s director of player development Gavin Morris may have had the best response to what amounts to pointless drama, quote tweeting a video of Ryan Shazier, who suffered a devastating spinal injury while playing for the Steelers, performing a box jump.
Turning the focus to a truly positive story out of the NFL, rather than pettiness and negativity? That seems like the right approach.