Former Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards took to Twitter Saturday night to express his displeasure with the Wolverines’ 24-17 loss at Notre Dame. His tweet included accusations of offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz being “weak,” and quarterback Shea Patterson being “scared,” against the Fighting Irish.
Edwards deleted the tweet shortly after posting, but several people took screenshots of it before it disappeared.
“Ruiz is weak, line is weak, shea is scared, f**king Michigan offense is so predictable…..Michigan football is sadly one thing…….Trash,” Edwards’ tweet read.
Edwards just started his second season as an analyst for the Big Ten Network earlier this summer, but his future with the network took a turn Monday afternoon. BTN announced Monday that it has suspended Edwards indefinitely for violating its social media policy.
Braylon suspended indefinitely from BTN pic.twitter.com/bZwze54Ywp
— angelique (@chengelis) September 3, 2018
BTN’s sentiment is accurate – to hold Edwards to a professional standard which he did not meet. But the indefinite suspension of Edwards comes across to many as an act of censorship, which sets a precedent and could have a stifling effect on other network personalities.
The suspension of Edwards comes at a time where perceived censorship exists in the political world, with some government leaders attempting to quell unfavorable news coverage, regardless of whether or not that coverage is truthful.
Whether you like what Braylon Edwards said or not, he should not be censored by the #BTN for giving his honest opinion. Maybe he could have said it in a better way but this looks like you better say good things about all 14 B1G teams or else.
— Rico Beard (@RicoBeard) September 3, 2018
On Sunday, Edwards went on to say that he is not happy with recent performances – a belief expressed hundredfold by other Michigan faithful on social media, as the Wolverines couldn’t complete the comeback on Saturday night in South Bend.
Can’t blame John O’korn, or Wilton Speight, or Jake Rudock anymore. Notre Dame was prepared for what Michigan does and executed accordingly. Time for some self evaluation big blue!!!
— Braylon Edwards (@OfficialBraylon) September 2, 2018
But Edwards’ personal attacks on Ruiz and Patterson certainly did strike a nerve within the Michigan program, including head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh told Great Lakes Divide on Monday that Edwards’ comments were, “…disappointing,” but he did welcome criticism of the team’s performance to be directed toward the coaching staff.
On Monday afternoon, Edwards took to Twitter again, this time to apologize to Ruiz, Patterson and the program for his post from Saturday.
I would like to address the tweet from this past Saturday. I should not have attacked Ruiz and Patterson that hard or period individually. I apologize as a former student athlete and NCAA analyst. With that being said UM football still needs to step up so no apologies there.
— Braylon Edwards (@OfficialBraylon) September 3, 2018
It is unclear when Edwards may return to the BTN airwaves or if he has personally reached out to Ruiz, Patterson or Harbaugh to make amends beyond his apology on Twitter. It is also unclear what remediation BTN is requiring before allowing Edwards back on air.