After getting ejected in Thursday’s contentious 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers for a helmet-to-helmet hit on wide receiver Diontae Johnson, Cleveland Browns safety Damarious Randall says he’s been receiving “death threats” and other comments over social media.
Randall hit Johnson directly in the side of his head with the crown of his helmet, but said the helmet-to-helmet contact wasn’t intentional. After the hit, Johnson was down on the field for a few scary moments, and Randall said he was a bit shaken up.
“I clearly hit him helmet-to-helmet, but I was just saying some prayers about it and that actually bothered me a little bit that he was laying there like that, because it just shows how dangerous this game is and how dangerous this game can be. Really, I just never intend to hurt anyone,’’ Randall told Cleveland.com.
Regardless of intent, fans laid into Randall online, and he was not happy about it.
“How is it, from the standpoint, after the hit ... I get so many death threats, so many people calling me names, people saying, ‘Oh, I hope you get hurt, I’m going to kill you, this and that,’’’ he told cleveland.com. “And it’s OK for fans to do it to us but then when we say something back, it’s a problem, we get in trouble. I just never understood that."
“It shouldn’t matter,’’ Randall said. “At the end of the day, the NFL is a brotherhood; nobody goes out there to hurt anybody. We’re all in it, this is an entertainment-based business. At the end of the day, we are entertainers. The last thing I need to be doing is watching my back for fans and stuff talking crazy. I know most of them aren’t even about that life, because I done really been in that life. ... I know most of them ain’t even close to that life.”
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