New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell and coach Adam Gase expressed their frustration Tuesday after Sam Darnold’s “seeing ghosts” comment was caught on a hot mic during a “Monday Night Football” telecast.
Darnold was wearing a microphone for the ESPN broadcast. He threw four interceptions in the 33-0 loss to the New England Patriots and made the comment while referring to his trouble reading coverages.
Darnold was mic’d up because, according to NFL rules, each team’s starting quarterback and head coach are required to be wired by NFL Films once a season. NFL Films has a representative on-site who will then approve comments to air — in this case on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”
The approval process is to help prevent players and coaches from saying things that might case themselves, the team or the NFL in a negative light.
ESPN declined to comment on the issues and deferred to NFL Films. The NFL had no immediate comment.
“The NFL screwed Sammy over,” Bell wrote in a tweet. “There's not one player in the NFL who's cool with having every sideline convo broadcasted to millions...there's a reason we've never heard other QB's frustrated on the sideline like that before...that's crazy, @NFL did Sam dirty as hell.”
Gase addressed the controversy to the media.
“That was one of those things that was really disappointing to hear about after the game,” Gase said. “I don't know if I've ever seen that where somebody that was mic'd up, that a comment like that was allowed to be aired. It bothers me. It bothers the organization.”
Gase added: “You're never anticipating something like that happening. The fact that it did just gives us pause to really cooperate anymore because I don't know how we would allow our franchise quarterback to be put out there like that.”
Darnold also addressed the “seeing ghosts” comment during his weekly radio appearance on ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show.”
“I'm not embarrassed by it,” he said. “It is what it is. Worse things have happened to me. But at the same time, yeah, it's just a bummer that it was live. It's a lot more common a phrase than it's being made out to be.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.