After video went viral of a New England Patriots fan keeping his cool while being harassed by a Raiders fan at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 18, Pats owner Robert Kraft contacted the fan to offer his gratitude, along with a VIP experience for Saturday’s game against the Bengals at Gillette Stadium.
Connecticut resident Jerry Edmond was in Las Vegas with friends, attending his very first NFL game, when a nearby couple made it known that they did not appreciate his choice of teams to root for.
“Basically, I was approached by the woman at first and she told me it was disrespectful to be cheering for the Patriots in the stadium,” Edmond, 24, told the Hartford Courant. “Then she repeatedly approached me throughout the game as I was cheering. One of the only things I would say was ‘That’s the Derek Carr I know,’ whenever he would make a bad pass. I guess she took offense to that, calling me disrespectful, then her husband approached me telling me to watch my mouth.”
The dynamic grew in intensity until – after Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones scored the winning touchdown by intercepting a bizarre lateral pass by Patriots wide receiver Jacobi Meyers – the woman got right in Edmond’s face. Like a baseball manager arguing with an umpire, she shrieked and waved her hands as if threatening to strike him. Her male companion, wearing a Raiders John Matuszak jersey, held her back at one point.
The whole time, Edmond stood calm in his Tom Brady jersey, ignoring the harassment and joking with a friend standing next to him.
This was what was caught on a 49-second video tweeted by another attendee of the game, @BabzOnTheMic, who added: “Someone find me this man. I owe him a beer. Entire game this lady was chirping at him for CHEERING for the Patriots in ‘her’ stadium. Absolute s*** ending for NE & she’s up in his face. He stayed calm after seeing the worst loss ever. I know I wouldn’t. He deserves some love.”
The video has now been viewed more than 88.5 million times. Edmond identified himself in the comments, explaining: “I didn’t want to ruin my experience by retaliating towards that woman so I kept my cool.”
A voicemail that Kraft left for Edmond was also posted on social media. In it, he said: “I just want you to know I think you represented our brand in a very classy way and I loved to see that you stayed cool and first-class in an environment that could have been provoking.”
Kraft offered Edmond a box seat, Pats jersey, and pregame field passes to Saturday’s game against the Bengals at Gillette Stadium. But, in a video posted on Twitter Saturday morning by the Patriots, he welcomed Edmond and his friends to his office and said: “You know what? It’s kind of cold. How about you guys come to our suite and watch the game from there?”
It sounds like Edmond’s second NFL game will be a better experience.
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