New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith shouted “f--- you” at a fan who heckled him as he left the field Sunday after his team’s 24-17 loss to the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. The second-year player’s expletive was recorded by a nearby WLNY television crew. It’s unclear what the fan said before Smith's outburst.
“I want to apologize if any kid saw me saying any negative remarks walking off the field,” Smith said during a postgame press conference. “I kind of let my temper get the best of me in that situation. It’s a part of my learning process. I have to get better at that, have to let that stuff roll off my back.”
“I’ve played football my entire life,” he added. “I’ve dealt with heckling fans, so it’s not something that I’m not used to. The key for me is to stay grounded and keep working. I’m only 23. I can’t begin to tell you how much improvement I’ve gotta do. It’s a long progress, and I’m in it for the long haul.”
Jets fans had chanted “We want Vick” throughout the game Sunday, calling for head coach Rex Ryan to sub in backup quarterback Michael Vick for the struggling starter. Smith cursed at a fan seated in a section behind the Jets bench who was particularly vocal throughout the game, ESPN notes. He completed 17 of his 33 passes and recorded two turnovers amid a failed comeback in the second half.
NFL officials will likely fine Smith for his postgame tirade. Ryan received a $75,000 fine for a similar outburst during halftime of a 2011 game.
Despite Smith’s poor play, Ryan confirmed that he would remain the Jets’ starting quarterback for the team's Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers.