NFLPA Contacts NFL After Browns Fan Throws Beer at Titans Players in Week 1

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2019

Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) celebrates with a fan and teammates after returning an interception for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the second half in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

The NFL Players Association has contacted the league office after a Cleveland Browns fan threw beer on Tennessee Titans players during the team's season opener at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday.

The incident came in the game's final minutes, when Tennessee cornerback Malcolm Butler put the finishing touches on a 43-13 victory with a 38-yard pick-six on a Baker Mayfield pass. Titans defensive back Logan Ryan used social media to call out the fan's actions:

The Browns released a statement Tuesday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer:

"This individual person's action is not tolerated in our building as it is not reflective of our fan base or city. We're currently addressing the situation internally, along with NFL Security, and we believe we have identified the person involved. He will ultimately face an indefinite ban from FirstEnergy Stadium for the unacceptable behavior, which is in clear violation of our Fan Code of Conduct."

In the video, a fan wearing a brown Mayfield jersey can be seen splashing a group of Titans players with his beer as they celebrated by jumping into the stands. Ryan took exception and appeared to try to stop the fan's actions. After initially appearing shaken by Ryan's presence, the fan flicked some of his beverage at the defensive back.

The NFLPA took notice:

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Ryan further addressed the matter on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday:

"Yeah, you know, in this day and age it's ridiculous. I understand that we play football. I understand that we're modern-day gladiators. I understand that fans feel like they can yell and say and degrade, whatever, but you know, we're human beings.

"And I think in society nowadays that's, with everything going on and everybody deserving their rights, I think as a player to hop up over the rail and to have beer splashed in your face and you're not allowed to respond. ... Fans are allowed to throw beer in our face and yell whatever they want to yell at us and there's no penalty?"

This is not the first time Cleveland fans have dumped beer on an opposing player.

In 2007, Cincinnati Bengals star Chad Johnson celebrated a touchdown by jumping into the Dawg Pound, where he was met by a beer shower.

"That was cool," Johnson said. "It was fun and it was cold."

Although Johnson didn't take exception to his run-in with Browns fans, unruly fan behavior at sporting events has become a growing topic recently.

During a March game, then-Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook had a heated exchange with a Utah Jazz fan, with Westbrook revealing the fan directed "racial" and "disrespectful" comments in his direction. The fan was permanently banned from the arena as a result.

During Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals in June, a fan got physical with Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry after the player jumped into the crowd while chasing a rebound. The man, later identified as Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens, received a one-year ban and a $500,000 fine.