The expression “that comes with the package” is definitely appropriate when discussing pro athletes and their families. Most family members know how to reap the benefits, stay out of the way and temper their social media expression.
Those who don’t can cause uneccessary problems for the family member who is caking it up in the league and also make that player the target of fans because of his family’s indiscretions.
Some sports families are considered more camera hungry than others. Patrick Mahomes’ brother Jackson and fiancée Brittany Matthews come to mind. They both have a high social media presence, Brittany with her workout films and live documenting of her fabulous lifestyle and recent venture into owning a NWSL team.
She also spent her weekend dragging her husband’s critics, like ESPN’s Ryan Clark, who said Mahomes was “broken.”
And Jackson has become somewhat of a TikTok star, dancing and posting videos anywhere he can, including on top of the Sean Taylor memorial on the day the WFT was retiring the legendary deceased safety’s number.
Jackson caught some heat for that, but it wasn’t intentional. Sometimes the actions of family members and their interactions with fans can lead to some distracting news for the locker room.
Privileged Pretzel Chucking | “I’m An Idiot”
The wife of L.A. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had one of those moments that can turn the fans on a player quickly. Stafford’s wife Kelly apologized for throwing a pretzel at a fan in an altercation she had with 49ers fans on Monday night.
According to brobible.com:
“Stafford’s wife Kelly also has a fairly long history of finding herself in trouble thanks to her inability to log off, as she’s previously caught heat for her stance on NFL players kneeling during the anthem, labeling Michigan a “dictatorship” due to pandemic related protocols she was decidedly not a fan of, and repeatedly defending her husband’s honor against haters online.”
The pretzel throwing incident is a bit different than a privileged wife of an NFL star spewing her political and personal beliefs over social media. Kelly Stafford couldn’t resist throwing the piece of food at an unruly 49ers fan she was reportedly directing “aggressive” comments toward her during the game.
That Kelly Stafford-Pretzel story is amazing just for the comment that indicated a pretzel is suddenly this weapon of mass destruction (although MetLife Stadium pretzels may be).
Can imagine Jim Ross: "By Gawd, not the pretzel! He clobbered him with it! He is broken in half!" pic.twitter.com/PlpLbGOcEv
— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) November 17, 2021
Apparently, there is no footage of the pretzel throwing incident, but when it occurred, a spectator who was sitting near Kelly sprinted it to her Instagram mentions to share their two cents about Kelly’s behavior.
According to a report by TMZ Sports, Levi’s Stadium security stepped in and escorted Kelly Stafford and people she was with to other seats.
After some soul-searching, Kelly apologized and took full responsibility for the classless incident, which Kelly described as a “weak moment,” as recounted by CBS Sports:
“I’m an idiot. He was saying a bunch of things that were aggressive towards our crew but zero excuse,” Kelly Stafford wrote on her Instagram page in a reply to fan who inquired about the altercation. “I tried to apologize, but in the end I knew I was wrong. Will always stand up for my guy and everyone I love, but obviously needed to do it completely different!
“I’m embarrassed too! Sorry you had to witness me in my weak moment!”
No cops were called in the incident, and she realized that she went a bit too far, so no harm, no foul. Mrs. Stafford does need to bring it down a bit on social and at the games before she creates bigger problems for her husband, who is trying to endear himself to a new fan base and finally win a playoff game after 13 years in the NFL.
It’s just bad timing, especially coming on the heels of another terrible loss for the Rams and Matt Stafford, who blew a golden opportunity to tie the Arizona Cardinals atop the NFC West.
When your husband is known as somewhat of a choke artist in big spots, the last thing he needs is more pressure brought upon him by an overzealous, obnoxious family member.