Tyrann Mathieu regrets lashing out at Chiefs fans on social media

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Tyrann Mathieu has come under scrutiny for some comments he made about the Kansas City Chiefs fanbase in a reply on Instagram.

On Friday, Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens responded to an Instagram post, voicing frustrations over fan discontent with the team’s rough start to the season. The fan page on Instagram implied that signing Hitchens was a bad move by GM Brett Veach and the veteran linebacker took exception to it.

“These boys will never understand talk big on internet but want pics and autographs in person haha,” Hitchens wrote. “Me my family and kids family ‘that don’t exist yet’ are set for life !!! Y’all keep trolling put y’all phones down and go get some money, BTW y’all opinions don’t matter!!

“All we did was go to 3 AFC champions games and 2 Super Bowls and 1 SB win.. in my first 3 years so far!!ya’ll fans will never be satisfied it’s sad !!”

Screenshot via Chiefs Wire

Mathieu came to Hitchens’ aid, backing him up with a comment targeted at the entire Kansas City fanbase.

Screenshot via Chiefs Wire

“Big facts,” Mathieu responded. “This might be one of the most toxic fanbases in all of sports.”

The inflammatory comment went viral with both Hitchens and Mathieu catching criticism for their responses.

On Saturday, with the final media availability ahead of the Week 8 “Monday Night Football” game against the New York Giants, Mathieu addressed the media before anyone else. He explained that his own frustrations had got the best of him and that it was a mistake to say what he did.

“In regards to the comment that went viral, obviously that was a mistake on my part,” Mathieu said. “I haven’t had the season I’ve wanted to have, I think as a team we could say the same. Frustration tends to build up. People who really know me, teammates, people I deal with in the community, even fans that I happen to come across in the gas station — I think all these people can see me being a genuine person. I shouldn’t have used those choices of words, I think I’m man enough to admit that and really own that.”

Mathieu is in the final year of his contract with the Chiefs. He has always maintained he wanted a long-term deal with Kansas City. Given his recent comments about the fanbase, he was asked if anything had changed from that standpoint.

“No, not at all,” Mathieu said. “I’ve been through worse things in my life as a professional athlete. I’ve had harder moments than being 3-4 with aspirations of playing in the Super Bowl. Like I said earlier, I think it’s just more so frustration with the moment. I think people that know me, that communicate with me directly know that I’m all-in on Kansas City, I’m all-in on my teammates. I try my best to be all-in on the community. I don’t think I could paint a better picture of what I want to be here.”

Speaking after Mathieu, Chiefs HC Andy Reid explained that the team cautions their players about responding to things on social media.

“Yeah, so listen, these are emotional guys that love that whole thing,” Reid said of his message on social media. “I do tell them that is a dangerous area, though. We make that very clear. You’re really just talking to one guy, but now you’re talking to the whole world. We’ve got to do a better job with that, and I think Tyrann (Mathieu) just told you that. That’s how we address them prior, we try to during training camp, we try to educate (the players) on that. That’s a tough deal, though, in this day and age. I’m not really big on the whole thing period.”

As for Mathieu’s social media usage from here on out, the veteran safety expects changes in how he uses his platforms and handles negativity moving forward.

“Yeah, I think the intention is always to grow,” Mathieu said. “When I wake up I try to find ways to grow as a father, football player and as a person. Obviously, that’s one of the things I would like to grow in. Listen, I give football everything that I’ve got. We don’t prepare—we don’t want to lose. I need to do a better job of dealing with the negativity. But this game just means a lot to me, my teammates mean a lot to me. From time to time, certain comments can get under my skin, not just me personally but for my teammates as well. I always feel like I have to come to the defense of somebody, whether it’s me or my teammates. But I do think that there is a time and place for everything and that’s one of the areas I could see myself growing in as I get older in this league.”

With the social media misstep behind him, Mathieu hopes to turn the page against the Giants in Week 8.

“I’m just looking forward to playing better and doing better,” Mathieu said. “And most importantly, not being a distraction to my team.”

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