During an interview with the Chronicle-Telegram (Ohio) on Wednesday, Peppers referred to fans in Cleveland as “wishy-washy.”
“So that’s one thing I notice about Cleveland sports, you guys are very, very wishy-washy,” Peppers said. “If it ain’t going right immediately, calling for heads, calling for jobs.”
During an interview later in the week, Peppers tried to clarify his comments by pointing out that he wasn’t talking about the fans, even though it seems like he probably was.
“Obviously I wasn’t talking about the fans as a whole, more so the environment of an NFL franchise,” Peppers said Thursday, via ESPN.com. “We understand the city of Cleveland loves their Browns and wants to see us get back to how it’s supposed to be. That’s just the NFL. They love you when you’re doing good or not so much when you’re not.”
Peppers also added that he loves the passion of the fans in Cleveland.
“I love the Cleveland Browns; I love the city of Cleveland,” Peppers said. “I love how passionate the fans are. Part of what I get is my fault. I’m not playing up to my potential and they see that as well, so you can’t fault people for feeling how they feel. You just go to take it with a grain of salt and do what you got to do to get better.”
Although the Browns have looked better this season after going 0-16 last year, the team is still struggling to win games, which has left fans frustrated. It seems that Peppers may have started to grow a little frustrated himself based on interactions he’s had with several fans recently. Peppers told the Chronicle-Telegram that some not-so-friendly fans have been randomly approaching him.
“Oh, yeah, now they’re aggressive,” Peppers said. “My boy had to pull me away one time.”
The former first-round pick, who has watched the Browns go 1-18-1 since being drafted in April 2017, did add that he understands the frustration to en extent.
“I know this is the National Football League, scrutiny is at an all-time high, you’re constantly under the microscope,” Peppers said. “It’s just part of the game that comes with it, but it’s just going to be funny to see once we get this thing rolling the way we’re supposed to.”
Winning has a way of curing everything, but the problem in Cleveland is that the Browns don’t ever seem to win. Since Hue Jackson took over in 2016, the Browns have gone 2-33-1. With that kind of record, the Peppers and the Browns should probably be thankful that their fans have been willing to stick around. Of course, no matter how frustrated you get as a fan, you should never aggressively approach a player on the street.
Peppers and the Browns will be looking to make all those fan frustrations go away on Sunday when they host the 3-1 Ravens in an AFC North showdown.