Washington, DC, United States (4E Sports) – Instead of being offended, Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo shrugged off Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel’s controversial hand gesture and described it as “hilarious”.
“It was hilarious,” said Orakpo. “We were messing with him a little bit, just saying this ain’t college and stuff like that. We were having a little fun.
“Manziel flipped us off. It was something funny. We were all laughing on the sidelines,” added Orakpo, who was pegged by one teammate as the instigator.
According to some Redskins players, they wanted to have a little fun with Manziel with some vocal ribbing.
“I can tell you what the statement was that set him off,” Redskins safety Ryan Clark said. “The statement was, ‘This isn’t college anymore and these people are faster than you are.’ He didn’t like it. And that was me cleaning up the statement. That’s pretty much what it was.”
Clark wouldn’t say who made the comment, only denying that it was him.
The gesture occurred late in the third quarter on an incomplete pass to Jonathan Krause. After the play, Manziel was near the Redskins’ sidelines. As he ran back to the huddle, Manziel folded three fingers and raised the middle one.
“We saw it,” Clark said after the game. “I don’t care — it’s funny. Nobody cares; it’s football. I’m sure if he had the opportunity to turn around and say it, he would have.”
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III’s news conference ended when he was asked whether he saw what happened. Receiver DeSean Jackson called it unfortunate and said Manziel needs to learn from the incident.
“Being young, things happen sometimes [and] you don’t know better,” Jackson said. “It’s unfortunate he did get caught, but he’ll learn from it. It’s nothing too nice to do. We’re out here competing with each other.”
Orakpo, who played collegiately at Texas while Manziel starred at rival Texas A&M, said he talked with fellow outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan about doing Manziel’s money sign if they sacked him.
When Kerrigan did sack him, only Orakpo did the sign.
“I tried to get Ryan to do it with me,” Orakpo said.
“I thought about it, but that’s not cool. That’s not me. It would have been out of character. We talked about it before, but I chickened out,” said Kerrigan.