Antrel Rolle is still hissing about the booing.
The Giants’ safety who caused a mini firestorm on Tuesday by calling out the Giants fans who let the team hear their displeasure at halftime of Sunday’s comeback win over the Jaguars remained steadfast in his opinion that fans should not boo their team.
“They want to make it that these guys, they pay this much for the tickets,” Rolle said yesterday in his first locker room interview since Boogate began. “Yeah, I understand that. I understand completely. But you know, we risk ourselves out there on the field every day also. When soldiers come home from Iraq, you don’t boo them. So I look at it the same way. I take my job seriously.”
Rolle said he “knows for a fact” that he’s not the only Giants player who feels that way. But others chimed in with less confrontational tones.
“I boo when taxes go up, I boo when the supermarket doesn’t have the loaf of bread that I like,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “When my accountant loses money for me, I boo him too. We all are displeased by certain things in our lives and we have that opinion. Especially when you’re paying money for it.”
“I’m used to it,” defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. “That’s just the way the fans are. But they have every right to be like that. They’re paying $120 a ticket to come watch us play, you can’t go out and stink it up like that. Especially not in New York. As long as they’re paying to come watch us play, they can boo. They can do whatever they want to do. That’s well within their rights.”
Tuck said he doesn’t pay much mind to fans’ reactions, noting that he’s been cheered for plays he felt he’d not performed well on. “The fans, they’re there to be entertained,” he said. “For them it’s like a show. For us it’s a job, it’s something we love to do.”
Rolle did take some responsibility for the booing.
“We have to play better,” he said. “We definitely have to play better as a team and not allow them to boo. Keep them on our side as much as we can … As players we have to do the best that we can to make sure they have something to root for instead of booing.”
But Rolle didn’t take responsibility for being so outspoken.
“Once again, me who has a big mouth, I’m the one who says something,” he said with a grin. “Blame my mom, I’m not a politically-correct guy. You ask me a question I’m going to give you an honest answer. If my coaches ask me, if my girlfriend asks me, I’m going to give an honest answer. I don’t sugarcoat.”
Rolle is quickly learing that New York fans do not either.