Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on Saturday defended a controversial ESPN graphic that brought national attention to the fact his mother was once addicted to drugs.
A screenshot of the infographic went viral when the Bengals drafted Higgins with the 33rd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. The graphic resulted in backlash for ESPN, which also received criticism for focusing too heavily on the deaths of draftees' family members.
Higgins, however, tweeted he had no problem with ESPN's use of the graphic, saying he was proud of his mother turning her life around.
I’m proud of my mom for turning her life around for me and my sister! I have no problem with them showing the world that my mom is a true fighter https://t.co/11xKrf4wlV
— Tee Higgins⁵ (@teehiggins5) April 26, 2020
Higgins' wasn't the only controversial graphic ESPN used over the course of the draft. Apart from focusing its attention on the deaths of several draftees' family members, it also pointed to the legal issues receiver Quintez Cephus while at Wisconsin.
No way my dude told ESPN this was ok for them to put this in a graphic. I mean why would he allow it? pic.twitter.com/7Gm0NESPQf
— YWNWA (@FearTheTodd) April 26, 2020
ESPN, in a comment to The Athletic, said, “Our NFL Draft coverage analyzes the prospects on the field and introduces the human side of the players by telling their stories, including the obstacles their families have overcome as part of the journey to the NFL.”