Lamar Jackson apologized to a fan he responded to on Twitter after the Baltimore Ravens' brutal loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday in Week 12. Immediately after the game Jackson put out a vulgar tweet that he has since deleted.
Speaking for the first time since the tweet Friday, Jackson admitted he let his emotions get the best of him.
"I was mad," Jackson said. "I was mad after the game, and when I got onto social media, that was the first thing I saw. I just busted my behind, my whole team did – coaches did. That's what I saw, and I just reacted to it. My bad; my bad.
"I was just reacting at the time. I was mad; I wasn't thinking about actions. It was like bitter; I was bitter. I feel like you should be bitter after a loss though, like no smiles. I feel like the fans should be mad that we lost too, but not mad at us. We tried, but it happened. I apologize if I hurt feelings out there."
Jackson said he didn't reach out to the fan, but there's no ill will between either parties.
"He told me he loved me; I saw that. So, I love him, too. I do," Jackson said. "I'm not mad at him. I have to love. God told us to love everybody, so I love everybody."
Following the game, an NFL fan took to Twitter and called for the Ravens to let Jackson leave at the end of the season, and the quarterback did not take kindly to that.
After watching Jackson complete just 50% of his passes against the Jaguars, the fan wrote that the Ravens should "Let Lamar walk and spend that money on a well rounded team."
The Ravens quarterback was tagged in the tweet, and we know he definitely read it because not only did he respond, but he responded with something that could put him in hot water. Jackson told the fan to "STFU" while also including a vulgar NSFW insult that can't be seen here. (If you want to know the exact words he used, you can click here to find out.)
Jackson's tweet got more than 13,000 likes in the first hour it was up.
Why did Jackson delete the tweet? His girlfriend told him to as Jackson admitted he "didn't know" if he hurt someone's feelings. The lesson was a tough one for Jackson, yet one he knows he'll benefit from going forward.
"What I take from this experience is don't say anything on Twitter, or don't say what I said, because there are kids watching," Jackson said. "I don't need the kids saying that, but just watch what you say. Try to stay off Twitter if anything if something like that happens again. Hopefully, we're not losing anymore."
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he talked to Jackson about the situation, adding that he encourages players to stay off social media after games.
"I just talk to these guys, we talk a lot about football, but we also talk a little about that stuff, too, what goes on in terms of media and everything," Harbaugh said, via NFL.com. "Really just beg guys not to get into the Twitter world right after the game, especially after a loss. It's never going to be positive, it's not going to be a nice place."
Jackson's response was not what Harbaugh normally sees from his franchise QB, and that can be the issue with tweeting after a game: emotions are high.
"I think that's kind of reflected in Lamar's response because what he said was just so out of character for him. That's not the way he speaks. That's not the way he talks. That's not the words he ever uses," Harbaugh said. "I've never heard him say things like that before. … I'm sure he's frustrated, just like we all are. That's just a place you don't want to live right after a game. I know he understands that."
Harbaugh has been Jackson's head coach for the 25-year-old's entire career, since he was drafted in 2018. He said anyone who knows Jackson knows he is not the type of person who was displayed in the tweet.
"Lamar Jackson, you've been around him. He's got one of the biggest hearts of anybody I know. You all have seen him. The way he treats people. The way he treats kids. The way he treats the media." Harbaugh said. "He's also one of the biggest competitors I've ever met. So those kind of conversations, he takes very seriously. So he gets trapped sometimes by someone that's baiting him just a little bit, and you can't live there. It's not important. I think that's not a place he wants to be in, and certainly not the things he wants to say."
As for the Ravens fan who sent the tweet, he's clearly been frustrated by the Ravens' inability to do anything on offense over the past few weeks. Over the past six quarters alone, Baltimore has scored just one offensive touchdown.
Although the fan would like to see Jackson leave Baltimore, that almost certainly won't be happening. Even though he's in the final year of his rookie deal, there's almost a zero percent chance that Jackson will end up hitting free agency. After the season is over, the Ravens will look to negotiate a new deal with Jackson, but even if they can't work something out, Baltimore can still hit him with the franchise tag.
Despite struggling with his accuracy against the Jaguars, Jackson did still manage to total 343 yards of offense with 254 of that coming through the air and 89 on the ground. Jackson also quickly moved the ball down the field at the end of the game to set up Justin Tucker's 67-yard field goal attempt, which came up short to seal Baltimore's loss.