“The exact reason why players are kneeling for the anthem.”
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.
Tensions were high at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night after the hometown Chiefs beat Washington in a 29-20 nail-biter. While walking to the visitors’ locker room after the game, Washington receiver Terrelle Pryor screamed obscenities at hecklers, brandished his middle finger, and even lunged toward the stands before being held back by a Washington staffer. Video of the incident appeared the next day on TMZ, and it wasn’t a good look for Pryor.
What was initially reported as an athlete’s inappropriate response to an emotional loss appears now to have been so much more. On Wednesday night, Pryor posted on Instagram to tell his side of the story and painted an ugly picture. According to his post, he was berated with racial slurs throughout the game by Kansas City fans and connected their behavior to the reason NFL players have been sitting for the national anthem.
You may have seen the video of Terrelle Pryor yelling with a fan. He posted this on Instagram as to why. (Language warning) pic.twitter.com/w16WdmGGe1— Craig Hoffman (@CraigHoffman) October 5, 2017\n
Being a professional athlete is a double-edged sword. On one hand, athletes get to soak up the adulation of thousands of cheering fans, while also enduring the boo birds. But no athlete should be subject to racial slurs and threats.
“I do apologize to my teammates and my organization,” Pryor said, referring to his behavior after the game. But when it comes to bigotry, he won’t stand down. “But at some point, you keep calling us the n-word ... we going to start acting up,” Pryor said.
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the league is looking into the issue and that fans who use racial slurs should be banned from NFL stadiums. “We are looking into all aspects of it, and we will report back when we have concluded that review,” Lockhart said. “We have no tolerance for racial comments directed to anyone. Those fans are not welcome to come back this week, next week, or anytime.”