The New York Giants came under fire for another putrid 24–3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, and right tackle Evan Neal’s frustration with heckling fans led to a brash string of clap-backs that he has since apologized for.
Is Evan Neal Really Unbothered by the Opinions of Giants Fans?
Darryl Slater of NJ.com went into great length detailing Neal’s tirade against the Giants fan base yesterday, including this:
But on Wednesday, Neal blasted his critics, saying, “Why would a lion concern himself with the opinion of a sheep?” He added: “The person that’s commenting on my performance, what does he do? Flip hot dogs and hamburgers somewhere?”
This marked just one of several eye-opening comments from the Giants’ 2022 No. 7 overall pick. The criticism from Neal came after he initially went at it with fans in the stands during the game, and days after the loss, further lambasted Giants faithful by attacking their lack of football knowledge and apparent disregard for him as a human being.
For Neal to have sounded off on more than one occasion points to an insecurity in his play thus far, even if he’s not willing to admit it.
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Has Neal’s Play Warranted Lack of Support from Giants Faithful?
Neal has allowed one sack, four QB hits, and 15 hurries through four weeks of action. His three penalties are tied for third-most across the NFL. Daniel Jones is on pace to be sacked more than any quarterback in NFL history and Neal shares culpability for the offensive line’s ineptitude thus far.
Fans attacked Neal because he allowed seven pressures against the Seahawks’ pass rush and did not give Jones enough time to throw the football inside the pocket, leading to 11 sacks on the night.
Renegging on His Words
Neal has since apologized for his criticisms. He took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to assume responsibility for bringing additional distractions into the locker room and for sowing dissension among the players and the fans:
Making light of the professions of hard-working Giants fans who just want to see their team play at a high level crossed the line. A silver lining from this fiasco is that Neal’s show of emotion indicates that at least he cares about his reputation and has a desire to hold himself accountable and help the team improve their record moving forward.