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George Pickens Addresses Social Media Drama: ‘I Don’t Mix Social Media and Football’



Steelers WR George Pickens
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens celebrates against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 8, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — George Pickens found himself embroiled in controversy over the weekend. It was all related to his body language during the game against the Titans and his social media posts over the weekend. In case you missed all of that, here’s a recap.

He posted a story with a character who was frustrated with the words ‘Free Me’ under it. He appeared to be solemn all Thursday night, with his body language on the sideline depicting just that. Not only did Pickens do that, but he unfollowed all offensive teammates aside from college teammate Broderick Jones and Mason Rudolph. His last move was to scrub his entire page of Steelers-related posts.

However, after archiving them, he added all those posts back to Instagram. He then followed back all teammates, including Diontae Johnson. He is trying to convey here that there was nothing to be concerned about from the start and that the drama was all manufactured.

In an Instagram story on Saturday, Pickens posted a simple message to those concerned that he was fed up with the organization.

“Assumptions lol over a picture,” Pickens wrote. “That has nothing to do with FB (Football). Y’all need urgent care lol.”

On Tuesday, Mike Tomlin blasted the media for their ‘reality television’ coverage of the entire Pickens saga over the weekend. More than that, he said the team was not distracted by it, instead, they were focused more on the Packers than what Pickens was doing.

Steelers WR George Pickens

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens sits on the sideline during his team’s game against the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 2, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“Like breathing,” he said. “It’s easy. I know it’s a cute story for you guys, but it’s a pebble in my shoe, to be honest with you, in terms of the things I have to do to get these guys ready to play this week. Our focus is on the Green Bay Packers and what we all do in this football game. I can’t state it any plainer than that. It’s like reality television the way you guys follow social media and write stories about that.”

Is George Pickens Frustrated With Steelers?

For the first time since those posts, Pickens addressed them on Wednesday. His answer to the entire sags was simple — he does not mix social media and football. That’s where it essentially ended, though he went deeper into his emotions from the night and shrugged those off.

“Well, I don’t mix social media and football,” Pickens said. “I was just clearing out my page. That has nothing to do with anything. Certainly has nothing to do with the Steelers.”

When asked if he was upset, Pickens responded ‘no’, but even further along that line, he outright denied that he was frustrated at all during the game. He talked about being happy that they had won and for Diontae Johnson’s first touchdown in nearly two years.

“No, we got the victory,” Pickens said. “Tae got a touchdown and we engineered a victory, that’s all. I was happy, if anything.”

That’s an interesting answer from Pickens, who seemed frustrated. But either way, I do not think it is a big deal. Pickens is a young player dealing with his emotions. Most players in the locker room seem to think that way, too. But Pickens addressed it one last time in a clear manner to showcase what he was thinking.

“I can’t do much,” Pickens said. “All I can really do is keep working towards the next game.”

Pittsburgh will likely look to get Pickens involved more against a Packers secondary that is battered but finding some work with Jaire Alexander back and the young Carrington Valentine finding success against the Rams following the Rasul Douglas trade.