What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
Johnathan Abram, the player currently wearing No. 24 for the Raiders, disagrees with a claim made by Charles Woodson, one of the team’s greats of the past, who wore the same number.
Woodson created a minor stir on social media Wednesday when he told the Review-Journal at the opening of The Raiders Tavern & Grill that safety Johnathan Abram had yet to reach out for advice from the soon-to-be Hall of Famer.
“No, he hasn’t reached out,” Woodson said. “Of course, that’s his prerogative. If he ever does, I’m here. But I leave it up to the young guys. The thing about this game is sometimes you feel like you have to figure it out for yourself and that’s fine.”
It didn’t take long before a representative for Abram took exception to the comment. And he brought receipts.
“Hey (Woodson), (Abram) has been trying to get ahold of you,” wrote Abram’s agent, Trey Robinson. “He’s striving to be great like you.”
The post included screenshots from Abram’s Instagram account that appeared to confirm several messages went unanswered. Robinson did not respond to a request for further comment.
Abram has mentioned Woodson several times on social media, including when he was first introduced by the team and given the No. 24 jersey.
“Real legends wore this number, @charleswoodson,” Abram posted on April 26, 2019.
The next day, he thanked Woodson for a video welcome message he recorded through the team and mentioned he would like to get together for dinner and football talk. There was no response.
Abram posted a “Happy Birthday” message to Woodson on Oct. 7, then shared a photo of specially designed cleats with Woodson’s image.
“I had to for you,” Abram wrote with the Dec. 26 message. “I appreciate you paving the way.”
Again, no answer.
It’s unclear if Woodson, 44, runs his own account or has a social media person.
He said one of his favorite parts of being a part of the Raiders was the franchise’s connection with and affinity for its past.
“When I got to the Raiders, we were always surrounded by the Raiders’ greats, the old Raiders, the guys all the old films were about,” he said. “Willie Brown was in our defensive backs meetings helping us out, Fred Biletnikoff was there for the receivers. Jim Otto and Cliff Branch were always around. We got to see walking greatness every time we went to work. I think that was pretty special. I don’t know how many teams have their former players always around at practice. So that made it a lot of fun.”
Woodson hasn’t made it a habit to insert himself into the lives of the current roster, but does have some advice.
“Everybody has to go through their growing pains as a player,” he said. “So for all those young guys, the best thing you can do as an athlete is to make sure you’re prepared when the season comes around, make sure you know what to do and do it fast. As long as they do that, they’ll be fine.”