Matthew Stafford: I wish I had a better reaction in the moment when the photographer fell

Rams Parade, Super Bowl
Getty Images

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford took some criticism when he just turned around and walked away after a photographer fell off the stage at the team’s post-Super Bowl celebration. Stafford and the Rams later pledged to pay her hospital bills and replace her broken cameras, but Stafford still wishes he had handled it differently.

Speaking on his wife Kelly Stafford’s podcast, Stafford acknowledged he wishes he would have checked on her immediately.

“Yeah, I mean, that obviously happened really quickly and suddenly and unexpectedly, and wish I had a better reaction in the moment,” Stafford said, via “I didn’t. I apologized to her for that, but glad that all in all she’s doing all right.”

Stafford called it “one of those things you try to train your reactions to be a little bit better next time.”

Kelly Stafford did check on the photographer immediately, and although she initially seemed fine, when she later posted on social media that she was injured, the Staffords vowed to take care of her.

“Long story short, we followed up with her,” Kelly Stafford said. “The moment we got in the car, Matthew actually looked at me and said, ‘Hey, will you contact the Rams, ask how she’s doing?’ Did that, they’re like, ‘We think she’s going to be OK.’ We sent her flowers. Next day we wake up, [she’s] not OK.”

37 responses to “Matthew Stafford: I wish I had a better reaction in the moment when the photographer fell

  1. Personally I think his initial reaction is quite telling about the person he truly is. And that’s unfortunate.

  2. Initial reactions are a good indicator of a person’s real persona . Most if not all empathetic people would have reacted with immediate concern and stopped to ensure the person who fell was okay and that help was quickly responding . Stafford’s reaction was that of a self entitled person who cared only about his good time not the photographer who fell . His apology does nothing to change this .

  3. Dear Mr. Stafford, you don’t “train” yourself to react like a human being. It happens naturally.

    Of all people, a professional athlete who makes a living reacting to immediate situations, your behavior was appalling. Apologize and move on.

  4. The fact that he says you try to “train” your reactions is telling. You shouldn’t have to “train” yourself to act concerned when you see something like that. Sociopaths “train” their reactions to mimic what society deems acceptable.

  5. I think we all have times we wish we would have reacted to something better. Usually we underestimate the seriousness of a situation.

  6. I was always ambivalent about… I thought he was a phenomenal talent (arm) that seemed to always underwhelm…. Watching his reaction to that poor girl fall off the stage, all I could think was- garbage human being…. And being drunk is not even close to an excuse.

  7. Ease up on passing harsh judgment. It’s not like he knocked her off the stage or even had anything to do with her mishap.

  8. He was drinking and celebrating. Was it the best reaction, no of course not. But alcohol can make for some poor decisions. This topic can be dropped now. Especially because he owned up to it afterwards.

  9. How one reacts in the spur of the moment is usually a good indication of the type of person one is. Read into that what you will.

  10. I thought the video was chilling. When he turned his back and moved away, he looked so casual, strolling off and swigging from a water bottle. It just didn’t seem like how a normal human being would react, even a guy who had drunk a lot. He was aware enough to look like he told his wife to deal with it as he was turning around. I don’t know the guy, but this wasn’t a good indicator of his character.

  11. They act like he pushed her, unfortunate that she fell. How far was the fall? Most of us may have had the same reaction in the moment.

  12. Don’t beat yourself up over this Matthew. We have a league and fans willing to turn a blind-eye to a QB with multiple civil and criminal cases pending. They can get over your slow reaction time to a photographer tumbling. Nice of you to even address this nonsense.

  13. Another self centred individual caught being the real person he is now having to explain why he doesn’t care about other people.

  14. You have to “train” yourself to not turn and walk away with a shrug when somebody falls right before your eyes?

  15. The classic sorry if you were offended. Terrible look when you get caught doing something like that on folm.

  16. The camera didn’t lie. What we saw in that moment was a guy who wasn’t the least bit concerned. What he did subsequently and what we see now is damage control. Excuse it all you want if that is what you need to do, but he is what we saw in that moment. Being drunk is no excuse. Alcohol doesn’t dull human character, it exposes it.

    Hopefully he’s going to ‘train’ himself to be a more caring human being.

  17. These replies are hysterical. hes drunk, his wife wanted a pic, the photographer cluelessly falls off the stage and Stafford wants to get back to partying. Pipe down you softies, the guy was in Detroit for 12 years not a peep. dont give me this true indication of his character crap

  18. He had a bad reaction, he’s owned up to it and more than made it right. The people virtue signaling about it act like he should have dove off the stage and caught her midair.

  19. Maybe Stafford really was the guy who appeared not to care when she fell. Maybe he is ALSO the guy who cares and wants to make it right by paying her hospital bills.

    Both can be true. We’re all human and we are none of us perfect.

  20. No, we just think he should have shown the slightest bit of concern…


    He had a bad reaction, he’s owned up to it and more than made it right. The people virtue signaling about it act like he should have dove off the stage and caught her midair.

  21. You reacted just fine. You turned away and did nothing. Your problem is either you are a drunk or you don’t care. Your reaction time has nothing to do with what you did.

  22. From some of these comments, we can see that way more than Stafford don’t give a damn about other people.

  23. What an absolute bum. It’s not about nuance. Someone fell backwards off a 10-foot-high stage right in front of him and he just drunkenly shrugs and walks off.

    And then later, he asked his WIFE to contact *his own employer* to find out how the injured woman is doing? What a leader this guy is.

    Stafford, Beckham, Miller, this has to be the all-time All-Dreary team of me-first, only-care-when-I-feel-like-it players. For this bunch of creeps to buy a ring is the most cynically depressing NFL outcome in a while.

  24. The more he tries to explain, the worse it looks. He got out of there and looked terrible in doing so. He didn’t care about that person, who was taking his picture in the first place.

  25. The funny thing about the people condemning Stafford is that I’m positively sure that half of them would have done the same or worse. My multiple experiences from being a good samaritan has shown me that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    I can attest that the people who help strangers in need are the outlier. I’ve been in situations where a lot of people were either standing around and looking from afar, or walking past, or driving past, meanwhile myself and another random person who just arrived to whatever location were the ones that immediately decided to help the person in need. Heck in most situations we were the ones that also called the EMTs, and not say the people that drove past, slowed down to look, and then drove off, or those that were waiting at a nearby bus stop.

    So people can try to hold themselves over Stafford and say what’s normal and what they would do, but reality has shown me that is not true. I hope a lot of those individuals look at themselves in the mirror.

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