Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam refuted claims made against him by former Browns head coach Hue Jackson alleging he was incentivized to lose during his tenure with the team.
Via Adam Sparks of KnoxNews.com, Haslam denied the allegations made by Jackson and went right back at Jackson for the losses that mounted during his tenure with the franchise.
“Unequivocally, Hue Jackson was never paid to lose games,” Haslam said. “That is an absolute falsehood. And it’s also an absolute falsehood that I laughed while we were losing. Most people who know me would say, ‘That’s not how Jimmy would react to losing.’
“In the 15-minute ESPN interview that he did, for approximately 14-and-a-half minutes it was about how he was treated so poorly with the Browns and lots of claims he had.”
Jackson said in tweets on Tuesday that Haslam was “happy” the team was losing games. Jackson then wrote “trust me it was a good number” in response to someone who said Haslam wasn’t offering $100,000 per loss, which is what Brian Flores claimed Stephen Ross offered him to loss games with the Miami Dolphins. Jackson then did an interview on Wednesday where he softened his claims about payments for losses but reiterated he was “put in a situation where I could not win.”
Haslam basically said that Jackson needs to look in the mirror if he’s searching for whom to blame for the Browns struggles during his tenure with the team.
“Hue Jackson has never ever accepted any responsibility for our record during that time period,” Haslam said. “He’s been masterful at pointing fingers but has never accepted any blame. I have accepted a ton of blame, and rightfully so.
“There are a lot of things I could’ve done better. Hue has never accepted blame for one thing.
“I can’t think of any individual that I’ve worked with over the past 45 years that I spent as much time trying to help be successful as I did Hue Jackson. His third year, when our roster began to pretty dramatically improve, the eight games he coached we were 2-5-1. After Hue was dismissed, we went 5-3.”
Jackson finished his tenure with the Browns with a 3-36-1 recording, including an 0-16 campaign in 2017. That season came one year after they won just one game in 2016. A 1-31 stretch during two seasons as head coach is quite the run of futility.