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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple NFL players speak out against 49ers beat writer

Marc Adams
May 26, 2022 at 9:05 AM

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It was only a matter of time before SI's Grant Cohn pushed a little too hard. A lot of fans like his approach. Many, however, find it annoying.

Cohn has a style of reporting that is unique. Some say it is honest reporting, and nothing more. Yet some say Cohn is gaslighting and only saying or writing the things he communicates in order to receive more attention, and gain more readers and followers, thus leading to more story clicks and YouTube views.

Most people respect reporters who speak or write the truth. Fans don't need watered-down reports that hide facts, in an effort to stay on the team's good side. But some believe Cohn takes things a little too far. He has been known to make sarcastic statements about players' injury histories, calling players a bust (even within the athlete's first season), and making many statements that demean players.

There's a line between reporting the truth and belittling people. Perhaps Cohn has lost sight of that line. Regardless, he has a large following of fans who love what he does, as well as how he does it.

Since Cohn has been covering the San Francisco 49ers, there have been players for the team who have grown weary of Cohn's rude form of reporting. There have been players he has targeted more than others, usually high draft picks who haven't yet panned out. Players like Arik Armstead (in his early seasons), Solomon Thomas, Dante Pettis, Mike McGlinchey, Javon Kinlaw, and Aaron Banks, just to name a few.

Cohn himself has mentioned that players like Deebo Samuel, and Pettis, a former 49ers wide receiver, have blocked him on Twitter.

On Tuesday, one of those players decided to let Cohn know he had had enough. After the team's second OTA practice was complete, Cohn posted a video suggesting Javon Kinlaw, the defensive tackle who has been the brunt of many Cohn remarks, was a little too aggressive with him during practice, standing over Cohn, making contact with him, and knocking his hat off his head. Kinlaw, according to Cohn, was later rapping derogatory terms while staring at him.

Later that evening, Kinlaw requested to be allowed as a guest on Cohn's YouTube livestream. What happened next was chaos, as Kinlaw made it known that Cohn needed to be more respectful in how he spoke of the third-year player. The video, as you can imagine, was all over Twitter that night and the next day. Even TMZ reported on it.

Everyone seemed to have an opinion. That includes a handful of NFL players who seemed to not only want to take a stand against the beat writer but also express disdain for a certain comment made by Cohn, who said, "So like I wasn't scared I was just surprised that he crossed the line, because honestly if he touched me, if he pushed me, dude I could have retired today. That's what went through my mind. I'm like, 'oh damn, I'm about to retire I'm about to be out of the game. I'm about to be a multi-millionaire, thanks to Javon Kinlaw,' but no I gotta keep working."

That statement seems to have especially rubbed the players the wrong way, as professional athletes are sometimes targets of people who are trying to get rich or trying to take that player down. And while Kinlaw likely took it too far, players spoke out against the 49ers beat writer.

Here are the NFL players who spoke out against Cohn on Wednesday:

Arik Armstead
"This is the type of low life we let into our building. He would rather antagonize and provoke players into hitting him so he can retire instead of doing his 'job' of journalism."

George Kittle
"It's crazy to me that someone who is allowed into our building has the mindset/goal to antagonize and irritate players with their endgame of being this. I thought players and reporters were supposed to work together. Being in this building, let alone this league, is an opportunity, it's not a right. People get really comfortable typing behind a screen! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but continuing to go after a player habitually seems like someone whose goal isn't to report or write a story."

Tyreek Hill
"It needed to be said podcast coming soon!!"

Raheem Mostert
"We're always told journalists and reporters have a job to do. Ok, understood. But this??! He admitted 'retirement' as a 'multi-millionaire' went through his mind. THIS is unacceptable, @NFL @49ers...This ain't 'game'. This is unacceptable."

Taybor Pepper
"The faithful can arrange an early retirement if the fan base boycotts your low effort shit posting you call journalism."

Dante Pettis
"people talking about the kinlaw stuff like they've had to sit through malicious articles and comments being made about them in the media...TUH! since this is going over a lot of your not saying anyone was wrong or right in how they handled anything. all im saying is you dont know what it feels like to be under that much scrutiny and how it can affect you."

Jaquiski Tartt
"Lmfao..crazy how players become the bad guy for standing up for themselves. Media/social media has a huge influence on players narratives. Allowing anyone to speak on your name with no accountability for what they say."

Deebo Samuel

Brandon Aiyuk
"If you gone say some bout somebody stand on that shit. Don't backpedal and start playing victim."

Solomon Thomas
"A consistent negative, disrespectful, and demeaning tone to players and their craft. Like we are animals. Then talks about "game" to antagonize a player enough so he can sue him? We shouldn't have to answer to media of this level. The 49ers/NFL should protect us better."

Daniel Brunskill
"Why would you listen to this guy he's antagonist that has zero knowledge on the game of football. He is a low-life person that enjoys hiding behind the status of reporter, so he can mock players on a skill that he has absolutely zero knowledge of, to gain status in this world. Praying on the downfall of people to gain for himself. Faithful please boycott this bum he literally knows nothing about the game and only wants to attack people's reputation."

Cohn did say that he and Kinlaw both met with John Lynch on Wednesday evening. He said they cleared the air and things are better. Kinlaw, however, doesn't seem to agree.

The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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  • art Velardo
    The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. You older folks might remember Lowell Con. He was known for the personal attacks on Joe Montana & other players from that period. The only difference is Lowell con could actually write.
    May 28, 2022 at 9:26 AM
  • Grant Con
    Grant Con has a long history of this behavior. Does anyone remember Anthony Davis? Threating to threaten to sue a player is way over the top. One of these days he is going to push his luck just a little to far. Surprised it has not happened yet.
    May 27, 2022 at 3:19 PM
  • Dan Truscott
    As soon as Kinlaw took the money to play PROFESSIONAL football, he opened himself up to criticism from the fans of that team. His outburst was profane and childish and reflected VERY poorly on the 49ers organization. If he is going to take millions of dollars, and not perform on the field, he will be scrutinized. Welcome to LIFE JK. Gohn is just another talking head in this world of instant "reviews"!
    May 27, 2022 at 6:40 AM
  • Ed
    I recall a game in which the 49ers had a large lead. After a couple of star players suffered injuries, Cohn posted a tweet excoriating Shanahan for not pulling all star players. He was clear that Shanahan was an idiot for not doing so, in a game that the 49ers had in the bag. However, the lead closed to almost nothing. In fact, the game may have become tied. Cohn then deleted the tweet. Wish that I’d taken a screen shot.
    May 26, 2022 at 5:35 PM
  • Small Baller Brand
    Grant Cohn only got this job thanks to daddy. There, I said it for all of us.
    May 26, 2022 at 4:14 PM
  • Alexander Reoutt
    I wish Cohn would retire so i don't have to read his BS....I wish some lowlife who has no money would KNOCK his head off....
    May 26, 2022 at 2:44 PM
  • Leif 49erswebzone doesn't post content from Jose Louis Sanchez III, why do you guys choose to post Cohn's crud? What am I missing? If Cohn wants his content covered, folks should be able to comment directly at the source. SI's platform is garbage.
    May 26, 2022 at 2:23 PM
  • Brendan
    Grant represents the new type of "reporter" which is really just a bitter blogger with a press pass. Critique of players and their performance is warranted but he goes about it in such an awful way and it is all in the name of creating his brand, not reporting on the 49ers. A good writer doesn't insert themselves into the story which is what Grant did here. Kinlaw's behavior was and still is unacceptable but it was only a matter of time before one of the players spoke out. I would bet good money that Grant is a common topic in the locker room. You've even seen Shanahan roll his eyes in disgust when Cohn tries to ask a question at a presser.
    May 26, 2022 at 2:13 PM
  • Darrell
    I just "LOL" when I see that asshat's name. Not worth the investment in time or energy. Why the 'Zone even links to him is beyond me. I've learned which publication he pumps his bilge out on, and avoid clicking. IE: "SI" Problem solved.
    May 26, 2022 at 2:01 PM
  • 801.49er
    Cohn articles are crap. Like a lot of you I quit viewing his stuff a long time ago. I liken his articles to the bag of dog dung set on gets your attention but in the end the content is just shit. Goodbye and good riddance add nothing of value.
    May 26, 2022 at 1:59 PM
  • Weezy
    Im shocked anyone follows Cohn! I know on the Webzone, people dont even like seeing his articles featured. I know personally sometimes i get fooled into opening one of his trash articles and i get mad that i was tricked into giving him clicks. I cant even believe hes being defended by other journalists like you. Boot his ass, take away his team access and set the standard for respectful reporting.
    May 26, 2022 at 1:47 PM
  • Bob
    The idea that Cohn has anything worthwhile to say is wrong. Assumes he’s knowledgeable because his Daddy had a column.
    May 26, 2022 at 1:22 PM
  • Chuck
    Rather than complain any longer, I decided to do something.... if you feel the same, please sign the petition. If enough of us voice our opinion, maybe we can effectively remove this troll from the 49ers collective consciousness. and if this is successful, will have no choice but to drop him.
    May 26, 2022 at 1:11 PM
  • Sean
    Cohn is a clown. Always has been. He's far worse than his father ever was. Pull his credentials and let's get this crap over with. Been advocating for years that webzone doesn't post his articles on the news feed anymore so I don't accidentally click on that garbage.
    May 26, 2022 at 12:54 PM
    Response: Preach!
  • Cutitoff
    I quit listening to clickbait Cohn a couple years ago. Obvious he is just like daddy. This is either going to make this guys exposure close or fade away to nothing. Fans choice
    May 26, 2022 at 11:55 AM
    Response: Smart decision!
  • Leif
    The worst part about Grant Cohn is SI doesn't allow commenting, which hides him from criticism. When he was with the Press Democrat (I think, bad memory) he got trashed by 90% of readers. Now he has a bigger platform and no criticism. 49erswebzone should stop publishing his articles, you don't publish the other worthless SI non-journalists. He is click bait at its worst. Hot takes that aren't hot. The 49ers should stop letting Tucker Carlson Jr. harass their athletes.
    May 26, 2022 at 11:07 AM
    Response: We don't publish his articles, that I am aware. I agree with your take, though.
  • Ed
    This guy is a clown and again, this is the fault of then niners and their media team. They may have tried to make nice for the public reputation, but there isn't much that can be said. He does not conduct himself in a professional manner and it is fortunate for him that he hasn't been clocked before this. He has felt the feeling of being untouchable. Now he will feel what it is like to be punished. Good luck getting any player to speak to you and let's see if he is welcomed into the facility again. His editors at SI may have a meeting with him upcoming. This has become the world now. Hide behind words written in text and then not have to defend those words in person. I think "put your money where your mouth is" is something that Cohn should do. Please don't support an individual who puts players in a position to defend themselves in this manner.
    May 26, 2022 at 10:31 AM
    Response: Thanks, Ed. I agree!
  • The Real Faithful
    Seriously, this guy is a troll. What has he ever actually "reported" on. All of it is just regurgitated observations I can get from Branch, Maiocco or Barrows, that Cohn puts his "spin" on. Sure Marc Adams can say people "like" him but that's because Cohn just amplifies the chorus of people's deep seeded insecurities about themselves and the team. They see the team as an outlet of their frustration in their own lives since they have nothing better to comment on. Cohn is not a reporter or a journalist. People fall for his click bait. It's sad really. The people who "like" Cohn are the same people that are more likely to react emotionally to articles and games versus analyzing the facts and details of the game because it's too hard for their brains to comprehend and weigh. Matt Maiocco - 123k followers Matt Barrows - 84k followers David Lombardi - 62k followers Cam Inman - 52k followers Eric Branch - 47k followers Grant Cohn - 34k followers
    May 26, 2022 at 10:18 AM
    Response: Great post, Real Faithful. Thanks!
  • Spiker
    This is the first time I've seen Cohn referred to as a "journalist" and its really upsetting. Most 49er beat writers learned how to be reporters, and follow their rules of their craft. Cohn is a shitposter who got a clicks-driven position for a content farm based solely on his daddy's name. That's not in the same time zone as "journalism". I didn't realize the 49ers let him in the building. That's ridiculous. Park his ass outside with the rest of online trolls. There is literally nothing he is learning or "reporting" on that benefits from him having direct access to the team. For those that like his style (and what the fuck is wrong with you?), he can still shitpost and farm for clicks the exact same way.
    May 26, 2022 at 10:10 AM
    Response: Agreed!
  • Candlestick Kid
    Grant Cohn is the offspring of Lowell Cohn, a bay area sportswriter for many years. Grant has tried to emulate his father's style by being super critical of every aspect of the 49ers."Throw enough mud against the wall and some will stick" Occasionally Lowell or Grant would have a truth pointed out in their respective columns but their style is to cause disruption and negative finger pointing in hopes of increasing their readership. I gave up on Sports Illustrated when they hired Grant Cohn.
    May 26, 2022 at 10:03 AM
    Response: Amazingly, Grant is worse than his dad.
  • Graham
    Cohn does NOT know football, DJ. And he does not know journalism either. Lynch needs to ban him from the site and withdraw any accreditation.
    May 26, 2022 at 9:52 AM
    Response: I'd be on board with that.
  • Bruce
    I've been done with Grant Cohn for a long time. Hope the rest of you 49er fans join me cause his style is trash.
    May 26, 2022 at 9:43 AM
    Response: You're a smart dude, Bruce. Good for you.
  • Tod
    Not exactly a fair report on Grant Cohn. If he is this low life that says awful things, report them. Grant is usually saying the same things as most fans, who are disappointed when top draft picks don't perform As for the one quote you did have about Grant, what should he have said when Kinlaw, a person that weighs more than hundred pounds more than him threatened him? Would it be better if he had said, he was scared? Then those that disliked him would say that he was playing a victim. Instead, he protected himself the only way that he can, make it clear that he would sue any player that attacked him physically.
    May 26, 2022 at 9:33 AM
    Response: Hi, Tod. There are so many Grant Cohn quotes that are demeaning to people, it would have taken me hours to find them all. As for the other quote, I was only reporting what the players seemed most upset about. Ask them what Grant should have said differently. I bet they'd have ideas on the matter.
  • DJ
    I STOP clicking Cohn's articles awhile AGO!!!! He knows FB, but is too critical, without knowing all the FACTS!!!
    May 26, 2022 at 9:25 AM
    Response: That's smart!


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