Young Steelers fans were expecting to practice and take pictures with Diontae Johnson at his football camp Sunday.
But the star receiver didn't show up.
Johnson was a no-show to his youth football camp, which was organized by a company called FlexWork Sports Management. Parents of kids who attended the event told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette they didn’t find out Johnson wouldn’t be appearing until an hour into the program.
“It was just very sketchy,” said Brandon Murphy, whose nine-year-old son was hoping to meet the Steelers wideout.
Murphy said the cost of attendance was $125, and some parents were complaining they enrolled their kids in the camp as a holiday gift. The kids were all between 6-16 years old.
FlexWork didn’t respond to several messages from the Post-Gazette. The Steelers aren’t affiliated with the camp.
One of Johnson’s representatives told the Post-Gazette his travel to the camp was delayed by weather, and he intends to hold a free event for kids between now and the beginning of training camp. Johnson lives in Florida during the offseason; the camp was held at Cupples Stadium on the South Side of Pittsburgh.
While a travel delay is a perfectly certifiable excuse, it’s still unfortunate that Johnson no-showed, especially since it cost $125 for kids to attend. A team photo with Johnson was part of the package.
Murphy and another parent told the Post-Gazette they were promised a refund by FlexWork Management. The company’s coaches ran drills in Johnson’s absence.
“You could tell they were just as disgusted as the parents, if not more,” Murphy said.
Travel snafus are excusable. Not communicating to people who paid good money so their kids could attend an event is not.