Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson didn't handle a last-second loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars well. Following the game, Jackson sent an insensitive tweet to a fan who urged the Ravens to let Jackson walk once the season was over.
Jackson's response, which he deleted hours later, included an insensitive phrase that could be interpreted as homophobic.
Jackson sent that tweet in response to a fan who criticized Jackson's performance during the team's 28-27 loss to the Jaguars in Week 12. Jackson threw for 254 yards and a touchdown and ran for 89 yards and another touchdown, and hit Josh Oliver with two minutes left to play to give the Ravens a 27-20 lead.
Jaguars starter Trevor Lawrence led his team down the field on an electric drive over the final two minutes, scoring with 18 seconds left. The Jaguars went for two and converted to win the game.
With the loss, the Ravens sit at 7-4. Jackson is once again in the midst of a strong season after failing to come to a long-term deal with the Ravens in the offseason. Jackson is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2022 NFL season, though it's expected the Ravens will use the franchise tag on him if the two sides can't agree on a long-term deal.
Lamar Jackson deletes tweet insulting fan
Jackson was tagged in the original tweet, which is likely how he saw the criticism and decided to reply. The tweet implied Jackson was not worth the $250 million contract he reportedly seeks from the Ravens.
Jackson's response was fine up until the last two words, in which Jackson sent an insult that can be interpreted as homophobic. Jim Buzinski of Outsports explained why that's the case.
"Jackson was insulting and degrading this fan by calling him an 'mf' who wasn’t man enough to play football and saying all he does is 'eat d***.' That says Jackson thinks eating d*** is unmanly and deliberately used it as an insult, something gay men have faced, like, forever. Therefore, it’s homophobic."
Jackson's intent, which we don't know, matters in this instance. By deleting the tweet, Jackson seems to understand he crossed a line, though he denies insulting anyone's sexuality. It's entirely possible Jackson did not intend his remark to come off as homophobic or anti-gay. It's also foolish for him to use a phrase that opens up that possibility.
The Ravens and the NFL have not commented on Jackson's tweet. Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked about the exchange Monday and said he spoke to Jackson about it.
Harbaugh said he encourages players to not engage with fans on Twitter after losses, saying, "It's never going to be positive."