The relationship between NFL players and fans has seen better days, as evidenced by several verbal skirmishes between players and hecklers caught on video from last week’s Sunday night football game.
Emotions were running high in what was one of the best games of the 2017 season, between the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs. But one couldn’t help but think of the tension between players and some fans–born of recent national anthem protests–when seeing players leap quickly to anger at the generic heckling heard in the videos.
After giving up a 44-yard touchdown, Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters had little patience for the fans’ dismay, slamming down his helmet and yelling, “F**k you, b**ch!” into the crowd.
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A second video captured Redskins receiver Tyrell Pryor lighting up fans as he made his way to the tunnel that leads to the locker room. Pryor is seen flipping fans off and shouting “F**k you!” before raising his helmet in anger as if to throw it at them. A Redskins official can be seen attempting to calm Pryor down as he leads him to the locker room.
League officials will surely be keeping a close eye on player-fan interactions moving forward, as the anthem protests have created a public relations environment of 24/7 high alert. In the end, the fans are where the money is.
“We’re in a trying time right now with all the racial situations, the kneeling, the disrespecting of the flag and also fans pulling away from the greatest professional sports [league] in the country,” said Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas, whom the team’s players chose as their representative in a secret meeting at league headquarters last week. “And that’s been considered. That’s being felt by owners and players. So, it’s something that moving forward we have to address.”
“At the end of the day, we’re talking about losing money. Nobody likes losing money, especially not any of these owners,” Casillas concluded.
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