Stefon Diggs Frustration Spills Out into Social Media

Jan 23, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) celebrates with running back Devin Singletary (26) after scoring at two point conversion against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half in an AFC Divisional playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Right up top, I’ll say that I really like Stefon Diggs. Not only is he an excellent player on the field, he also (consistently) makes a concerted effort to use his celebrity to enrich the lives of the fans.

And let’s not forget him making the effort to lift up a young fan whose father had passed away:

I recognize that there are some Vikings fans with lingering frustration with Stefon Diggs, but that shouldn’t be the case. He did excellent things for the purple and gold, including (but not limited to) being central to one of the franchise’s greatest moments: The Minneapolis Miracle.

Plus, both sides won in the Diggs deal. Buffalo got a top-tier WR to partner with Josh Allen. Minnesota, in turn, used the picks to acquire several playes, Justin Jefferson foremost among them. So, no bitterness on Minnesota’s end: they walked away with the best receiver in the NFL.

Stefon Diggs and The Bills’ Playoff Loss

Those of you who have been following the remainder of the postseason will know that Buffalo lost to Cincinnati. Pretty badly, in fact. The final score was 27-10. Diggs had a mere 4 catches for 35 yards. At one point, he expressed his frustration on the sideline:

His concerns became even more pronounced when he fired off a few tweets articulating some of his frustration (here, here, and here). The tweets offer a couple rhetorical questions before offering an emphatic answer to undermine the nonexistent uncertainty:

“Want me to be okay with losing? Nah.”
“Want me to be okay with our level of play when it’s not up to the standard? Nah.”
“It’s easy to criticize my reaction more than the result.”

The final statement, as far as I can tell, is a response to people’s quibbles with Diggs’ exchange with Allen. Diggs seems to be suggesting that criticizing the team’s performance would be more appropriate than criticizing Diggs’ sideline actions.

Sep 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Packers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Some Vikings fans will roll their eyes at Diggs, insisting that he’s being counterproductive by making his displeasure so public. Perhaps that’s true, perhaps it isn’t. What I will say is that no one can ever question his compete or desire to win (which is to say nothing of his elite abilities). Partnering his leadership and skill with his earnest effort to interact with and lift up the fans means the occasional public frustration is a relatively minor infraction.

2022 Vikings Draft Class
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) straight arms Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) after making a catch during second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Sean McDermott, Buffalo’s head coach, was asked about his star receiver. He pointed to how competitive #14 is:

He’s a competitive guy. That’s what makes him good is what you saw. He’s very competitive like we all are. We work extremely hard at these jobs to be the best we can possibly be, and it hurts. I wouldn’t want a guy that doesn’t hurt, right? So when you put it all on the line out there, we put it all on the line, and tonight it wasn’t good enough. That’s the part that stings.

No one can question Diggs’ competitiveness. Maybe he shouldn’t have gone to social media to make these concerns more pronounced; it’s not the approach I would have taken. In the grand scheme of things, though, the tweets likely don’t do much harm.

In 3 seasons in Buffalo, Stefon Diggs has piled up 338 catches, 4189 yards, and 29 TDs. He was selected for the Pro Bowl all three seasons. He has been a first-team All Pro once and a second-team All Pro once.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.