Avant Won’t Apologize to Eagles Fans, But All Are Welcome Aboard
Jason Avant isn't backing down from his comments and says he doesn't mind being booed, if it comes to that.
NOVACARE COMPLEX, PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant met with the media today and discussed his post-game comments that ruffled the feathers of the Birds fanbase. Avant wouldn’t apologize for blasting Eagles fans and saying he didn’t want bandwagon jumpers back on board, but eventually extended somewhat of an olive branch. First, though, the normally soft spoken receiver emphasized his right to free speech.
“Let’s get this clear; I will not apologize for what I said, it’s not an apology or anything like that,” Avant said. “What I’m saying is, is that there are faithful fans, faithful Eagles fans, we love those fans and the one thing I won’t do is apologize. I’m trying to motivate my teammates to keep focused, we’ve got the underdog mentality and that’s my opinion.
“The fans, I guess they called in stations or whatever and they gave their opinion, right? I’m a person and this is America right? I can have an opinion right? That’s my opinion.”
Avant said that what originally got under his skin was a sign across the street from the NovaCare Complex calling for the firing of head coach Andy Reid.
“It’s one of those things, I take offense when we’ve got signs outside talking about firing Coach,” said Avant. “I take offense to it so, definitely I’m not apologizing for that, but what i am saying is it was to motivate my teammates.”
In his original rant, Avant said he welcomed the boos of fans as extra motivation. He didn’t back down from those comments either, saying the boos won’t bother him.
“I don’t really care, you know why?” Avant asked rhetorically. “Because I play my hardest. I play my hardest for Jesus Christ and for this team. You going to boo me for playing hard? You going to boo me for being the guy that’s going to chase down the play when nobody else is running? You going to boo me for being the guy that’s doing special teams or going over the middle and taking a big shot?
“Boo me for doing what’s right!” Avant finished.
Still, once he had made his points about rallying his teammates around the adversity and having a right to speak his mind, Avant pointed out that there are plenty of Eagles fans still in his good graces.
“This is what I do respect about Philadelphia fans,” said Avant. ” They’re very, very knowledgeable and I love playing before our fans. I want to win a championship for this city so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so bad. So I respect them and I love them as fans.”
If you did boo the Eagles or talk negatively about them earlier in the season, Avant doesn’t want to lock you out.
“All are welcome to root for the Eagles, it’s not a thing of being mad, it’s just something that I wanted to let our guys know that we have to play through any adversity,” Avant said. “It’s not a shot at the fans, like it was taken, more so it’s about motivating my team to say we have to be able to go out under any circumstances and play hard like we did last week.”
“Who am I to allow anybody back?” Avant asked with a laugh. “I don’t have any type of authority, anybody is welcome back. See that’s the thing, how you going to take something out – I don’t have the authority to allow somebody to root for the Eagles and you guys take it seriously. Half of the stuff is you guys fault, I’m going to blame it on the media, half of it is you guys fault for blowing it out of proportion.”
Running back LeSean McCoy is missing practice today with what Andy Reid called the stomach flu.
Linebacker Akeem Jordan failed his baseline test and is out today with a concussion.
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