Oy. Tensions are high after last night’s frustrating loss to the Green Bay Packers, and I understand that Chicago Bears fans are ready to snap at the smallest thing. Lord knows I am.
There’s a significant wave of hostility making the rounds right now about some comments Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields made in his post-game presser after the loss to the Packers. To me, this is a nothingburger.
I’ll admit that when I first saw the video, absent context, I wondered what the heck Justin Fields meant by saying this: “It hurts more in the locker room than for Bears fans. I mean, at the end of the day, they’re not putting in any work.”
But here’s the thing: there *IS* context. There is always context. And if something seems too unbelievable for a thoughtful player like Justin Fields to have said, then there is probably more to it.
First of all, consider the context surrounding the question, which has been clipped out of the video. As Brendan Sugrue notesthe question was, “Does losing to this team, does it sting more because of this rivalry and how much Bears fans want to win this game?”
Now, Fields wound up answering a slightly different question – something like, does it sting more for the players or the fans – but you can tell from the question that it’s not like he was just busting the response out of nowhere. He wasn’t ripping on the fans.
Secondly, it’s not like what he said was inaccurate. As a fan, I’m brutally disappointed by last night’s loss (and the continued losses against the Packers), but I hardly think it’s worse for me than it is for the players, who are grinding daily to try to improve and win these games . Heck, you sure would HOPE the players take it a lot harder than the fans!
Thirdly, Fields was speaking immediately after a frustrating-as-hell loss, and I am generally willing to cut a lot of slack to guys speaking extemporaneously in those situations. I just don’t think he meant anything against the fans – he was just mad about the loss, mad for his teammates, and he wanted to express that. Note what he added at the end of his statement about the fans and the players: “I see the guys in the locker room every day. I see how much work they put in.”
The guy was just pissed off about a loss and wanted to, in his mind, stick up for the hard work of his teammates. There’s not a lot more to it than that.
Oh, also? Justin Fields totally scored that touchdown and he deserved to be ticked about that, too.