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Justin Fields apologizes, tries to clarify remark about Bears fans

9/22/2022 2:01:28 PM
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Asked how he’d fix his own mistakes from a blowout loss to the Packers, quarterback Justin Fields paused and changed the subject Wednesday. He wanted to address what he said Sunday when asked if losing hurt because of how badly Bears fans wanted to win the rivalry game, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

“It hurts more in the locker room than the Bears fans,” he said Sunday. “Because at the end of the day they’re not putting in any work. I see the guys in the locker room every day — I see how much work they put in.”

A prominent social-media company posted a video clip of his answer — and Fields spent the next two days watching negative fan reaction online.

“What I meant by that, is, I’m talking about work regarding the game on Sunday, winning the game,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t know any fans. I don’t know what they’re doing in their personal lives. I respect every fan that we have. I’m glad that we have fans. I would never disrespect anybody on what they do or what they love to do.

“It came off like that.”

That’s because Fields admitted to being so frustrated by the loss that he didn’t want to give his league-mandated postgame news conference.

Fields, who spent the last two years of his Ohio State career as one of the most famous people in college sports, should know that commenting on fans rarely ends well for an athlete. He also should know that he’ll need them on his side Sunday at Soldier Field, particularly after he threw for just 70 yards in the loss to the Packers.

He’s feeling the pressure that comes with being the Bears’ starting quarterback after a rivalry loss — and saying the wrong thing.

“I talked to my dad about it,” he said. “And as long as I’m going to be in this position there’s going to be stuff like that that pops up. So just knowing that as long as I’m in this profession that it’s never going to go away. So just gotta either be really clear to everything that I say. Be really descriptive to what I mean. Or really just don’t say anything at all.”

He doesn’t like the last option.

“I try to show my personality to the world . . . ” he said. “To show that I am a real person and yes, I do make mistakes.”

Fields has extra time to think about it. He woke up at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday and plans to keep doing so. That’s an hour or so earlier than usual — time, he said, he has spent studying film and other ways to get better.

“Changing up my whole routine,” he said. “I just hate losing. Like, Sunday hit different. It hit different than all the losses last year.”

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