Updated with Lamar Jackson and John Harbaugh comments.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson deleted a tweet Sunday night in which he called a fan an “mf” and used a gay slur.
Following the Ravens’ last-second 28-27 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, a fan on Twitter with 293 followers lashed out at Jackson’s performance on Twitter:
“When someone is asking for over 250 mil guaranteed like @Lj_era8 [Jackson’s Twitter handle] ... games like this should not come to @jtuck9 [Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker, who missed a last-play 67-yard field goal]. Let Lamar walk and spend that money on a well-rounded team.”
“Boy STFU y’all be cappin too much on this app mf never smelt a football field never did shit but eat dick!!”
Jackson’s tweet was online for 3 1⁄2 hours before it was deleted, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley said, and that the Ravens and NFL has no immediate comment.
In reviewing Twitter comments about what Jackson said, I am seeing many people saying “eat dick” is not homophobic, but it is because of the context in which it was said by Jackson.
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 dick.” That says Jackson thinks eating dick is unmanly and deliberately used it as an insult, something gay men have faced, like, forever. Therefore, it’s homophobic. (I like this phrasing from a gay person on Reddit: “To get down on your knees and put another guy’s dick in your mouth, is, to a lot of straight men, the most degrading and disgusting thing they could think of.”)
Jackson could have thrown out a whole bunch of other non-homophobic insults, but he resorted to a gay slur as what he saw as the f-you capper to his tweet. And deleting it shows he knows he crossed a line.
On Monday, Jackson defended himself on Twitter and accused Hensley of defaming him: “This is Defamation of my character, Because not once have I ever mentioned or disrespect anyone’s Sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, Religion or Race. Your reaching.”
Jackson was not defamed because the characterization of the original tweet as anti-gay was correct. Jackson needs to explain why “eat dick” is not derogatory or homophobic in the context he used it in. Jackson might not be homophobic, but his comment was. He would have been better off apologizing for the tweet in the first place as opposed to trying to defend its contents.
Also Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh had this reply to Jackson’s tweet to the fan: “I heard about it last night and talked to him this morning. I just beg guys not to get into the Twitter world, especially after a loss. It’s not going to be positive. I think that’s reflective in his response.”
That’s a very lame response from Harbaugh and seems to suggest that’s the end of it as far as he is concerned. We’ll see if the NFL takes any action.
In recent years the NHL and MLB both disciplined players who used “cocksucker” in anger on the field of play. I have no idea what the NFL will do since what Jackson said occurred not during a game but on social media, but he shouldn’t get off with nothing. Regardless, don’t let anyone imply that what Jackson said was not homophobic because it was.