Week 2 was just another Chicago Bears game against the Green Bay Packers. It ended similarly to the majority of these matchups over the past decade — in defeat.
To say anyone expected the Bears to actually beat Green Bay would mean those people were lying to themselves. The Bears were never going to win this game, but there were definitely some concerns which arose.
Quarterback Justin Fields had a tough game, and a lot of it was on his shoulders and not the play-calling. He did hold the ball too long. He did miss on some reads. But, what’s a young quarterback to do?
Fields is essentially still a rookie, not having played a full 17 games yet in his career. With that comes rookie mistakes, both on and off the field.
Speaking of which, Fields spoke to the media immediately after the loss to Green Bay and was visibly frustrated. He was quoted with saying the following:
“Yeah. It hurts more in the locker room than the Bears fans. At the end of the day, they aren’t putting in any work. I see the guys in the locker room every day. I see how much work they put in. Coming out of a disappointing loss like this, it hurts.”
Justin Fields’ words irritated many Chicago Bears fans, but at the end of the day, he doesn’t owe them anything.
After Fields said what he said regarding Bears fans, many people took the quote and ran in a direction which led to Fields’ name being smeared through the mud.
The quote was absolutely taken out of context. Of course, Fields did not mean to disrespect Bears fans. He’s not stupid. He understands the fans are the ones who support the team the most, especially from their own wallets.
But, a few different outlets took that quote and spun it in a way that could have damaged his reputation.
Then, on Wednesday, Fields met with the media again and had this to say in response to the uproar:
“What I meant by that is I’m talking about work regarding the game on Sunday, winning the game. 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. Some social media outlets, they quoted my quote and they got a big buzz out of it. So, of course they did a great job doing that. Of course social media is going to do that. But I just wanted to clear that up.”
First of all, good on Fields for ensuring he brought this story full circle. His presser was genuine. Watching it in full, you certainly got that vibe. He was respectful, humble and came across as being very genuine.
But, let’s clear something up here.
Justin Fields does not owe Chicago Bears fans a thing — period.
To say that the Bears would be nothing without the fans is both true and untrue. But, let’s just cut to the chase, here.
The fans that got angry about this quote clearly assumed the worst. Instead of giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, these fans went straight for the jugular.
In reality, Fields didn’t say anything wrong. He was absolutely right with what he said.
Fans do not wake up early and train at Halas Hall.
Fans do not study the playbook tirelessly.
Fans do not attend film sessions.
Fans do not put in work in the weight room.
Fans do not participate in practice.
Fans do not have their hand in coaching, or any part of the staff for that matter.
Fans are just fans — and that’s coming from a die-hard Bears fan, here. I am smart enough to realize that I do not put in the work.
Fans choose to purchase tickets, memorabilia and apparel. That is a choice. Fields, meanwhile, is under a contract and goes to work every day. This is a career. This is his occupation.
Fans have a choice to participate in being a fan and putting money into buying jerseys, hats, tickets, food, drinks, etc. That is a choice. They do not owe it to Fields to buy his jersey or attend his games. Those are both choices.
Fields’ job is to be the quarterback of the Chicago Bears and to put in all the required work in order to do his job to the best of his ability. So, with that said, here’s a message to the fans still upset about Fields’ post-game quote: