Sports

Le’Veon Bell Thinks The NFL Did Sam Darnold ‘Dirty’ Letting The ‘Seeing Ghosts’ Clip Go Public

Sam Darnold put forth an all-time terrible quarterbacking performance on Monday night against the Patriots in a 33-0 loss in which the Pats weren’t exactly lighting the world on fire.

The Jets quarterback, at home, completed 11-of-32 passes for 86 yards and four interceptions. He’s the first to have a game with a completion percentage below 50, passing yards below 100, and four or more interceptions since the Peter Man accomplished that feat in 2017 with the Bills — funny enough, Peyton Manning in 2015 was the next most recent to produce such a game. All of this is to say, it was an awful night for Darnold, and things were only made worse by commentary from Darnold on the sideline in the first half that made it to air.

ESPN’s “Wired” segment featured a mic’d up Darnold and concluded with the quarterback saying, matter of factly, “I’m seeing ghosts” to someone on the Jets sideline after one of his interceptions. The video immediately became a major talking point as it was rather unbelievable that, one, he’d say that and, two, ESPN and the NFL would allow that to hit air.

That second point has become something of a contentious issue with the Jets, who are not happy that the clip was aired and cleared by NFL Films. Le’Veon Bell took to Twitter on Tuesday to stick up for his quarterback, saying the league did him “dirty as hell,” by allowing that to be shown.

As Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes, the process for sound getting cleared is entirely up to NFL Films, not ESPN and not the Jets.

In other sports, such as the NBA, player and coach commentary is often run by team PR before hitting air, but NFL Films apparently has the clearance power on site. It was, at once, an incredible glimpse into the vulnerability of a quarterback in the moment and, at the same time, something that likely shouldn’t have been shown because of how bad it made Darnold look.

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