CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield downplayed death threats he received following his four-interception performance at Green Bay, and called social media critics “keyboard warriors that make empty threats.”
Mayfield didn’t provide details on the threats, which were first revealed in an Instagram post earlier this week by his wife, Emily. She also lamented “lies” and “blatant disrespect” aimed at her husband.
Mayfield, who has had a stormy, injury-slowed fourth season in Cleveland, threw a career-high four picks in a 24-22 loss to the Packers on Christmas. He had missed two weeks of practice after testing positive for COVID-19, and only arrived in Wisconsin hours before kickoff.
But that didn’t stop attacks from some laying blame on him for a loss that severely damaged Cleveland’s playoff hopes.
Mayfield’s accustomed to pointed and hateful criticism, and he’s never been afraid to lash out at his detractors.
However, he said there are times when it becomes more difficult to ignore some of the vitriol, and this week was one of those instances for him and his family.
“It’s hard for me to say not to listen to it because I have quite a bit of experience of hearing a lot of opinions on the outside coming in,” Mayfield said on a Zoom call with reporters following Thursday’s practice.
“So it’s hard when it comes down to somebody that you love, that you care about. She’s not able to change some of the outcomes of the game — or any at all.”
Mayfield said the threats did warrant intervention by team security or law enforcement to investigate them.
“It’s not that serious,” he said.
However, Mayfield, who has dealt with a shoulder injury since Week 2, didn’t miss an opportunity to push back at those coming at him.
“It’s just one of those things where we’re in a world today in society that there’s a lot of keyboard warriors that make empty threats and things like that,” he said. “It’s quite honestly ignorant when they go after people that aren’t directly involved in football, and then when you talk about taking your own life, killing somebody or all that.