New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott has backed off his criticism of team's fans after talking to coach Rex Ryan on Thursday.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for fans and what they do and the sacrifices that they make," Scott said. "And I'm aware of that."
One day earlier, the outspoken veteran had criticized heckling fans for abusing players during halftime of the Jets' blowout loss to the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night.
"Of course, I'm going to protect my team and protect my organization, but I understand they pay good money," Scott said. "It's freedom of speech. You can say what you want as long as nobody gets physical or puts their hands on you. I understand. We should also understand that within those stands there's family members, there's wives, there's kids. ... But I guess that's what we sign up for. We're public figures and we open ourselves up to criticism. That comes with the territory. That's fine."
Scott called the fans "entitled" and said some of the hecklers were the last ones picked in dodgeball during high school.
"That's a generalization," Scott said. "I'm sure there's some great athletes out there. I'm sure there's some great people that could have played. That was a generalization. .. me being defensive, protecting my teammates and the things that they have to deal with. I couldn't care less. I've heard it all. I just felt bad for my teammates."