Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is a very, very good football player.
Last season Griffen racked up 13 sacks, tied for fourth-most in the NFL, and was a lynchpin on the fearsome top-rated defense that pushed Minnesota to the NFC Championship Game.
A recent write-up on Vikings blog Daily Norseman credits Griffen with "one of the most ridiculous first steps in the game," and as a "relentless" pass-rusher with "ridiculous athletic ability."
Everson Griffen is also, by all appearances, a devoted husband and father, and a good all-around dude. Who else would think to celebrate a sack by revealing a message asking a national TV audience, "I just had a baby boy. What should we name him?"
Griffen and wife Tiffany got a lot of suggestions, and ultimately went with Sebastian, their third boy. Griffen thoughtfully says he'll encourage his boys to play less violent sports while younger, and save football, if they're interested, until high school. ("The brain is a sensitive area," he told ESPN. "I want [as little] contact as possible.")
See? Good guy.
One thing Everson Griffen is not is a #brand-conscious social media manager. If he was, the Vikings star might have anticipated getting some blowback for posting the joyous, beautiful photo of himself and Tiffany on Thursday.
"Blessed!" Griffen captioned the shot on Instagram.
In the background just behind them, indeed, just under Griffen's hands, is the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
Responses to the image have been mixed. Some followers are happy they're happy! Others wish they'd take their happiness somewhere else. A few of the responses so far:
"You're leaning on a 9/11 memorial and smiling ugh. I love you but [forehead smack emoji]."
"I respect you but that’s not the place to be smiling and being super happy."
"I was crying there and u smiling its [sic] just not right."
"Stay tuned for his filtered selfies at Auschwitz."
Turns out the 9/11 Memorial is a place to reflect on terrorism, tragedy, heroism, but not happiness -- which, according to some, you should take somewhere else if you happen to experience it at the wrong place.
We at City Pages are inclined to give Griffen (and his wife) a pass for a large amount of good dude-ness, to date.
Is there really no way we can blame this on Instagram?
UPDATE: As of mid-afternoon Friday, Everson Griffen has deleted the Instagram post, and posted a statement -- @ing both City Pages and Deadspin, which first reported on the photo's existence -- to his Twitter account.
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