For the second time in two seasons, the NFL media seems to be stunned that fans will turn against their own team and player, as Matt Schaub felt the hate from Houston Texans fans cheering his he was taken off the field after an injury. This resulted in a huge backlash against the fan base, with the harshest words coming from other Texans players like Arian Foster and Andre Johnson.
Last year Matt Cassel was injured in a Kansas City Chiefs game. Because he was doing terribly, Chiefs fans, who are setting records for noise this year and appearing in masses for the road games, decided it might be a good idea to cheer for his injury. Not cheers of support, but actually being happy that he got hurt and will be unable to play.
No one expected the Texas to be in a 2-4 hole, losing four consecutive games, with the future now looking bleak. Schaub is due to make $14.25 million next year, so expect him to get cut. Andre Johnson isn’t getting younger. The defense is doing fine in terms of yards, but the offense has cost them so many points with turnovers, it really doesn’t matter that they’re one of the best in the NFL when it comes to limiting opponents.
NFL players aren’t gladiators. They play the game either for the love of the game or for the money. Playing for the fans comes in later, but they’re never the main reason for doing this. There is no need for cliches about putting your body on the line for the fans and stuff like that. However, like in any other profession, even if it’s a high paying one that makes us all envious, actually wanting to see someone get hurt and possibly having a career ending injury, which can happen in the sport, is quite sickening.
Schaub himself didn’t attack the fanbase, but this season has been quite the shake up for him, not only in the faith he has in himself and his ability, but probably a wider perception of football, fans and their fickle nature, be it Texans fans or anywhere else.
I’d hate to think anyone out there, regardless of who was injured — on our team, on the visiting team, whatever the situation is — that people would be like that and act that way. There’s no place for that in this game and there just really isn’t.
Teammates were a little bit more harsh on the sections of fans who were cheering when Schaub went down, before it was even clear how bad his injury was. Like left tackle, Duane Brown:
For the fans that cheered when he got hurt, that’s disgusting. You can feel how you want about him as a player, but this is his livelihood and how he provides for his family. When a man goes down and he is not able to get up, you don’t know what is wrong with him at that point; that could be the last play of his career and for you to applaud at that — I have no words for that.
Arian Foster, the team’s running back, was trying to use himself as an example of what to do or not do.
That is just tactless and tasteless. I was extremely heated at that. They have to go home and look at themselves in the mirror and if they were born to hurt a man, that’s fine. They can do what they do. The fans can get emotional. That is just not how I was brought up. That is not the kind of man I am. I’ve got to go home and raise a daughter, and teach her right from wrong. That is just not something you do. I don’t care how you feel about a man. You don’t kick him when he is down.
Andre Johnson, who has been with the Texans since day 1 of the franchise, probably felt more disgusted than anyone about the whole incident.
No class whatsoever. It’s bad when members of the other team are saying that’s messed up that they would do something like that. It just shows no class. It wasn’t all of the fans, but those are the same people when you’re out somewhere with your family and you tell them they can’t have an autograph right now, they are the same people that tell you you’re rude. It’s no class. It just shows what they’re all about. You don’t cheer about anybody being injured. I don’t care who it is. Guys lay their bodies on the line out there on that field. Some guys get injuries and it affects them their whole lives. For them to cheer about something like that, it just shows they have no class.