Sunday's Panthers-Rams game featured Rams defensive end Chris Long getting ejected after throwing a punch during the game. As he was being escorted out of the stadium, Long made a sign to the crowd -- after at least one Panthers fan inappropriately threw a bottle his way -- that appeared be a middle finger. He's since apologized to Rams fans for getting tossed and pointed out that it was not a middle finger he gave.
First, the apology, delivered via Twitter by Long on Sunday afternoon:
Apologies 2 fans 4 losing my cool. Hard 2 watch from the locker room. Will always defend a tmmate + play w emotion but I need 2 reel it in.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) October 20, 2013
Thanks Carolina fans 4 the flipped birds+few bottles to the head. Sticks n stones may break my bones but aluminum zimas will never hurt me.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) October 20, 2013
Kudos for the "alumninum zimas" line. That's gold, Jerry. And since Long is apologizing, let me apologize as well. I noted that it looked like Long gave the finger to Panthers fans here.
The Rams defensive end pointed out to me on Twitter, however, that there is "no chance" he gave the bird and that he was "pointing to the individual who tossed a bottle." If he's willing to find me on Twitter and make that point, I'm more than willing to take him at his word here.
So apologies, Chris, for jumping the gun on that. The misconception is already out there and hopefully this helps clear it up. I honestly believed that's what happened and that's my bad.
Shame on Panthers fans, too, for lobbing insults and luke-warm zimas at Long on his way out as well.