The Miami Dolphins have acknowledged that G.M. Jeff Ireland had a verbal altercation with a fan at Sunday’s game against the Raiders.
As explained by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, a fan told Ireland he should fire himself. Ireland responded by using the term “asshole.”
Ireland has confirmed the incident in a statement released by the team.
“It did happen at halftime and I was going back to my booth after seeing my wife and I did talk to several fans that were very nice,” Ireland said. “But as I’m walking back this guy introduces himself to me and says I should fire myself.
“It caught me off guard. I just turned and walked away but I did say the word. I regret I used the word I used. I thought I was using it under my breath. I guess I kind of said it loud enough that he could hear it. I literally said it under my breath. At the time I felt I handled the situation pretty good. Probably muttered it a little too loud. I regret that I said anything.”
In 2008, former Browns G.M. Phil Savage dropped an “F” bomb on a fan who heckled Savage via email. Although this one wasn’t nearly as bad, it could serve to make Ireland’s reportedly hot seat even hotter.
After all, at a time when the Dolphins are desperate to get people to show up for games, those who do should be given wide latitude when it comes to expressing their views about the quality of the product they’re paying to see.