The female Alabama fan known as “Bama Mom” has apologized for her role in an altercation in which she attacked a group of Oklahoma fans who had been heckling her family.
Michelle Pritchett rose to Internet fame after a video in which she leapt over several rows of seats to attack an Oklahoma fan at the Sugar Bowl went viral. The mother of three has since apologized for her actions, claiming that she acted in defense of her 16-year-old son, who had endured several taunts from the Oklahoma fans.
"It had nothing to do about the ball game," Pritchett told AL.com on Friday. "It had nothing to do with us losing. It started when he started taunting my son."
"I apologize to the whole Alabama team, to Nick Saban," she continued. "I apologize to the whole Alabama base. That's not the way I would normally handle things. But when he told my son to come down there, that wasn't going to happen." Pritchett also noted that, while she had a few drinks during the game, alcohol was not a factor in her actions.
Pritchett’s violent reaction was mostly directed at Michael Connolly, a University of Oklahoma student who reportedly played a major role in taunting Pritchett’s family. In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard, Connolly described the circumstances that led to the altercation.
“At the beginning of the game, [Pritchett’s family was] kind of talking s—,” Connolly said. “They did an “SEC” chant right after the first touchdown of the game, and we all thought we were screwed at that point. So once we started winning, they shut their mouths and my crew of 6-10 people just started talking a lottttt of s—, specifically me and my friend who you can see waving the towel in the background of the video.”
Connolly’s group and Pritchett continued to exchange taunts throughout the game, but the situation escalated when her son reportedly challenged the Oklahoma fans to a fight. As her son exchanged words with the Oklahoma fans, Pritchett reportedly started “screaming” at Connolly, then jumped over several rows of seats to attack him, throwing a series of punches and kicks in the process. Connolly’s full account can be read over at Extra Mustard.
Initially, Pritchett was unwilling to apologize to Connolly. "Would I take that back? No," she told Al.com. "He was out of control."
But shortly after midnight last Saturday, Connolly tweeted that Pritchett had indeed called him to apologize for her actions. “Just got a phone call and a very sincere apology from Michelle,” he wrote.