Aaron Donald sponsored media appearance included effort by P.R. rep to block questions about helmet incident

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Six days after the incident that made Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald the talk of the league, Donald didn’t want to talk about it.

He went on a media tour on Wednesday to promote a product.This is a simple quid pro quo. The player is interviewed to learn that he will have the opportunity to promote his product.

Typically, the subject of the interview portion of the question is not limited. Sometimes there is. Sometimes the interviewer will comply. Sometimes the interviewer will politely explain that these questions must be asked. Sometimes the interviewer will simply cancel the interview because, frankly, it would be inappropriate for anyone being interviewed to try to impose restrictions on the topics to be discussed.

Donald’s appearances include an appearance with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports. In a very unusual move, a publicist actually interrupted the segment after Gelb asked too many questions about the helmet-swinging altercation in Los Angeles’ joint practice with the Bengals.

Here is the relevant excerpt.

Gelb: “What happened in joint training last week because we all saw the video of you waving your helmet? People want to know what happened there?”

Donald: “It’s just a practice. Obviously, people take out their phones and stuff like that. But I’m not going to sit down and talk about the negative things that happen in practice. My main focus is Buffalo.”

Gelb: “Is there an internal penalty?”

Donald: “We talked. We talked, so . . .”

Gelb: “Have you ever thought you might get suspended or something?”

PR: “Hey Zach, we’re just focusing on here because Aaron is here today talking about [product we have no compulsion to mention]. So you do have two minutes left, if you want to turn to your last question, please. “

To his credit, Gelb then tried to ask one more question about the incident. He asked what sparked the fight. Donald deftly twists it into his product. That’s it.

Unfortunately. Donald ultimately faces no real responsibility for engaging in inherently dangerous behavior. The league is inexplicably unable to suspend him, and the Rams predictably won’t. Then, during a paid media tour that included interviewing him in exchange for the ability to give him a chance to sell a product, Donald didn’t want to answer the simple question of what caused him to set off the fuse so violently and shockingly.

He should cancel or postpone the media tour. He definitely doesn’t need money. He definitely doesn’t need a headache.

Then again, neither did the guy in the football helmet hit hard The football helmet he wore last Thursday.

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