A day after Lamar Jackson deleted a vulgar and offensive tweet directed at a critic, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters he met with his quarterback to discuss the “out of character” remarks.
Following Sunday’s 28-27 loss to the Jaguars, a Twitter user tagged Jackson in a post that said: “someone asking for over $250 million guaranteed like [Jackson] … games like this should not come down to [kicker Justin Tucker],” adding, “let Lamar walk and spend that money on a well-rounded team.”
Jackson responded in a message with profane and demeaning language.
Jackson deleted his response later Sunday night, and Harbaugh said he discussed the matter with the quarterback on Monday morning. Harbaugh also said that he urges his players to stay off of social media in the immediate hours after a game — especially after losses.
“I just talk to these guys, we talk a lot about football, but we also talk a little about that stuff, too, what goes on in terms of media and everything,” Harbaugh said. “Really just beg guys not to get into the Twitter world right after the game, especially after a loss. It’s never going to be positive, it’s not going to be a nice place. I think that’s kind of reflected in Lamar’s response because what he said was just so out of character for him. That’s not the way he speaks. That’s not the way he talks. That’s not the words he ever uses. I’ve never heard him say things like that before. … I’m sure he’s frustrated, just like we all are. That’s just a place you don’t want to live right after a game. I know he understands that.”
Harbaugh added: “Lamar Jackson, you’ve been around him. He’s got one of the biggest hearts of anybody I know. You all have seen him. The way he treats people. The way he treats kids. The way he treats the media. He’s also one of the biggest competitors I’ve ever met. So those kind of conversations, he takes very seriously. So he gets trapped sometimes by someone that’s baiting him just a little bit, and you can’t live there. It’s not important.
“I think that’s not a place he wants to be in, and certainly not the things he wants to say.”
On Monday morning, Jackson tweeted at a beat reporter who covers the Ravens for ESPN.com and wrote the initial article on Jackson’s since-deleted tweet.
“This is Defamation of my character,” Jackson wrote, “because not once have I ever mentioned or disrespect anyone’s Sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, Religion or Race. Your reaching…”
Sunday’s loss snapped the Ravens’ four-game winning streak and saw Baltimore struggle to finish drives against a less-than-stellar Jaguars defense. The Ravens went just 2-for-5 in the red zone, settling for field goals on their first three trips inside the Jacksonville 20.
Jackson went 16 of 32 for 254 yards with one touchdown in addition to an additional 89 yards on the ground.
The Ravens host the 3-8 Broncos next Sunday.