Just in time for the start of Steelers’ training camp, JuJu Smith-Schuster is at it again on social media – and it’s not good a good look — literally.
No, he didn’t post video of himself dancing in some jam-packed club, going against COVID-19 restrictions. This was a solo dance posted to the trendy social media app, TikTok.
So what is the big deal, you say?
Steelers Nation is accustom to – and even enjoys – JuJu’s social media antics. After all, the Steelers receiver didn’t just hit 1 million YouTube subscribers by accident.
I say, just watch the video.
In it, Smith Schuster is clad in a yellow unitard that’s so tight, it leaves a little to the imagination when it comes to JuJu’s family jewels.
Again don’t take my word for it. Watch for yourself:
Eye-opening, right? And head-scratching, too, coming right at the outset of this coronavirus upended training camp and season to follow.
But it isn’t just JuJu and his tight unitard making waves. Cult fan-favorite offensive lineman Zach Banner — he of ‘eligible receiver’ fame from last season — became the subject of an unexpected social media blowup of his own.
This, after the journeyman Banner seemed to criticize the stand by Steelers defensive line star, Stephon Tuitt that he wouldn’t be taking a knee during the National Anthem this season.
At the very least, it appears Steelers training camp is getting off to a shaky start on social media.
This has some long-time Steelers analysts predicting doom and gloom in Pittsburgh. They say the latest social media missteps are proof the Steelers’ locker room is still long on characters, but short on character.
I give all the evidence and plenty of hot takes in this edition of the Steelers Update Podcast. Listen up, then reach your own conclusion:
Are the 2020 Steelers a “clown show” or simply exercising freedom of speech? The answer could make or break the Steelers’ season, which hasn’t even started yet!
So sign up – or simply click and listen right here, right now:
Say what you will about Pittsburgh sports radio host Mark Madden. He had Antonio Brown pegged long before the diva receiver become a Pittsburgh-sized problem. And even while JuJu Smith-Schuster was smiling his way to Steelers stardom and embedding himself deep in the hearts of Pittsburgh fans, Madden was more than suspicious.
As Smith-Schuster’s social media antics escalated, so did Madden’s increasingly harsh criticism. Now, in light of the receiver’s unitard dance, Madden is resting his case.
The always sharp-tongued talkshow host used the Don Henley tune, “All She Wants To Do is Dance,” to absolutely skewer the unitard-clad Steelers’ receiver. To wit:
There are more of Madden’s tweets in the packed podcast — plenty of content not found in this column, including some healthy doses of Smith-Schuster support from his social media allies, as well.
Whether you agree with Madden or not, this is the year for JuJu to focus on football, not TikTok. This, because he finds himself in a pivotal fourth year with the Steelers with a big contract at stake.
By the way, that big contract likely will come with another team. The COVID-19 revenue crunch that the NFL is experiencing has prompted it to drastically shrink the 2021 salary cap. This will put the Steelers in a real bind when it comes to signing their players next season.
If Juju was considered expendable before, as many analysts believed, he’s all but history now.
But these are headaches for another day.
For now, training camp just underway. Yet the Steelers find them dealing with social media fallout, courtesy Smith-Schuster and of all people, journeyman O-lineman Zach Banner, who’s taking on defensive star Stephon Tuitt. Say what? That’s how crazy it’s gotten in the 412 area code — and in such short-order!
It was already going to be a difficult season, like no other in history, in fact. Now, it’s off to a bad start right at the very beginning.
As they say on social media: SMH.
I’m shaking my head, Steelers fans. I’m shaking my head.
NOTE: John Luciew is an award-winning reporter for PennLive and a 25-year Steelers season ticket-holder. His column and podcast are presented from the obsessively over-informed perspective of an avid Steelers’ fan. Check out his latest Steelers podcast every Wednesday afternoon wherever podcasts are found, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Podcasts.
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