Did Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens become a distraction for his own team just a few days before they play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Heinz Field? It certainly appears as though he has.
According to multiple Saturday morning reports and proof on social media, Kitchens was spotted Friday night wearing a “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt — a reference to the Browns-Steelers Week 11 Thursday night brawl that resulted in multiple suspensions and fines.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, a Browns spokesman has said that Kitchens’ daughters gave him the shirt “as a joke” and that he reportedly decided to wear it Friday night to see the new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” with his family. According to the Browns, Kitchens did not intend for anyone to see him wearing the shirt and “understands it’s not a good look.”
I guess you really can’t fix stupid.
If Kitchens wearing the “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt in public isn’t bad enough, him wearing it to the movie about the life of Pittsburgh’s very own Fred Rogers is even more disrespectful when you consider what he stood for.
Is Kitchens wearing the shirt a crime? No. But one would think based on all he’s said since the late-game melee a few Thursdays ago between the Browns and Steelers and how he’s ready for his team to put that event behind them, that he made an extremely bad decision to wear said shirt out in public.
“I want them to go in with one thing and one thing only on their minds, and that is to do their job, and anything that overshadows that in any way is not acceptable and it is not the best for the team,” Kitchens said on a conference call a few days ago. “I want guys to show up ready to do their job. All of that other stuff is just fluff. It is just fluff to give people things to talk about leading up to Sunday.”
You can bet the major media will be all over Kitchens’ recent wardrobe choice from now and up until the Sunday game between the Browns and Steelers kicks off. If the Browns lose Sunday to the Steelers you can bet a narrative concerning Kitchens being a distraction for his own team a few days before the contest will run rampant.