Ninety seconds into his postgame news conference Sunday night at Lambeau Field, Justin Fields was thrown a slow-breaking curveball, one he wasn’t quite prepared for as he continued digesting the Chicago Bears’ 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Reporter: Losing against this team, does it sting more because of the rivalry and you know how much Bears fans want to win this game?
Fields: Yeah. I mean, it hurts more in the locker room than for the Bears fans. At the end of the day, they’re not putting in any work. I see the guys in the locker room every day. I see how much work they put in. So just coming out with a disappointing loss like this, it hurts. Now we just have to respond.
Seemed innocuous. Pretty harmless. Enough so that Fields didn’t receive a single follow-up question about it. His postgame Q&A session continued with a query about what is missing in the Bears passing game.
Fields was simply trying to express that no fan could care more about the Bears winning than he did. Thus it would be impossible for a loss like Sunday night’s to sting more after another loss in one of football’s most storied rivalries.
Little did the second-year quarterback realize he had inadvertently kicked over a hornet’s nest, disturbing a swarm of long-suffering Bears fans who felt their quarterback /took/ a dig at them.
They came out buzzing. On social media, Fields was lambasted for having the audacity to call out fans. On sports talk radio, there was passionate debate about whether Fields had earned the stature to even take a passing jab at fans.
The hullabaloo intensified. Fields felt the sting. In the made-for-meme world of 2022, his comments were lifted and packaged in a handful of social media posts that amplified — or maybe manufactured is the better verb — a mini-controversy.
Fields cited a tweet from Barstool Sports that included a video of his comments and concluded that “Bears fans might not like this one from Justin Fields.” As of Wednesday afternoon, that post had more than 1,100 retweets, 2,400 quote tweets and 26,200 likes.
On Wednesday, during his regular weekly session at the Halas Hall dais, Fields offered a lengthy apology and clarification.
“First off, I was frustrated after the game,” he explained. “Number one, I didn’t want to talk to (reporters). I wasn’t in the mood to come and talk. … So I should’ve done a better job of explaining what I meant by that.”
“What I meant by that is I’m talking about work (that was put in) regarding the game on Sunday and winning the game. I don’t know any fans. I don’t know what they’re doing in their personal lives. I respect every fan we have. I’m glad that we have fans. I would never disrespect anybody on what they do or what they love to do. And it came off like that.”
Let’s be real here: Fields’ apology was as unnecessary as it was sincere. Those who …read more
Source:: The Mercury News