It’s perfectly fine for Victor Cruz to promote himself as a football player/emerging fashion icon.
It’s also perfectly fine for Giants fans to be annoyed by Cruz for not fulfilling his obligations as a player while still openly flaunting his desire to build his “off-the field brand” in numerous interviews, commercials, social media posts and most notably his new Showtime documentary I Am Giant.
Last month, Haute Living—an upscale “luxury living” magazine—did an in-depth profile on the receiver entitled The All American Victor Cruz.
In the interview, which tends to focus much more on Cruz’s interests outside of football—namely fashion—than his interest in the sport itself, sentences such as these appeared.
“Cruz is a wide receiver in more ways than just football.”
“Football is not the only venture that the New Jersey Millennial has on his very full plate.”
“Don’t be surprised if in five years you see my own brand out there,” he reveals. For this ambitious football star, salsa dancer and fashion icon, this seems par for the course.”
Being an athlete with diversified interests outside of the sport you play is great. But in Cruz’s case, his top obligation is to the organization that’s paying him millions and providing him with the initial platform from which all of those extra money-making opportunities stem from.
Unfortunately, injuries have prevented him from fulfilling his obligation to his team, yet they certainly haven’t stopped him from continuing to build his personal brand.
Fans wanted to see the undrafted free agent turned pro bowler back out on the field, creating exciting plays and helping a somewhat struggling 5-5 squad turn its season around. Instead, they were treated to a cologne pitchman declaring that he won’t be playing this season in an ill-timed video that came on the heels of a gut-wrenching loss to the Patriots.
Some responded to the news by showing support, some expressed frustration, while many wondered if it meant his days in a Giant uniform may be over.
It seems like Cruz’s welcome may be worn out in New York. You know what isn’t worn out, though?
The soles of the hundreds of pairs of shoes he has in his Sneaker Closet, which includes his very own NKE AIR TRAINER CRUZ “HAYSTACK” which will be available to purchase on Nov. 20 for only $150.
You can’t begrudge Cruz for creating a life for himself away from the field. But it’s easy to see why some Giant fans have been rubbed the wrong way by his constant self-promotion, especially since it’s come during a period when he’s collected millions for being simply a spectator, just like them.