Chase Claypool and the Steelers receiving corps received immense backlash during the NFL season for their perceived obsession with the social media app TikTok.
While the Pittsburgh star slowed his usage of the app down, he doesn’t believe it had any bearing on his sophomore slump last season. In an appearance on the I AM ATHLETE Podcast with former NFL stars Brandon Marshall, Adam “Pacman” Jones and LeSean McCoy, the former Notre Dame star responded to the criticism he’s faced for using the social media app.
“It’s a different era,” started Claypool. “Social media is a big part of our era. So, I got to build a platform for myself. It helps me off the field. No doubt about it, on the field will always override the off the field, in terms of marketing and all that. The most important is on the field. But I was playing my best football when I was making TikToks.
“People want to get on me and talk about my TikToks, but as soon as I stopped we started losing.”
While the group understands where Claypool is coming from, the burning question remained — how did it affect the locker room? According to the wide receiver, the TikTok issue is one completely overblown by the media, but he doesn’t want to give them any more ammo against his squad.
“It’s not a distraction,” answered Claypool. “If I did ten TikToks a week — I haven’t posted, I’ve probably posted two, three Tik Tocks in the last year — but it’s perceived as a distraction. It isn’t a distraction .. we’re just having a good time. We’re humans too. It’s just perceived as a distraction.
“So, if I make a TikTok, it’s not a distraction. But if we go and lose that game, that TikTok is the reason, it’s part of the reason why we lost, you know what I’m saying? It don’t make sense, but that’s how it is.”
TikTok or no TikTok, Chase Claypool didn’t have the follow-up to his tremendous rookie season that many expected. Perhaps the app was his secret ingredient, but as he towards next season, he’ll be doing it without his former dance partner in wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason.
Nevertheless, Smith-Schuster’s abcense will open up more opportunities for Claypool — both on the app and on the field. If the former Notre Dame star can return to form, Steelers faithful won’t mind seeing him take part in some TikTok trends every now and then.