Jimmy Garoppolo’s debut with the San Francisco 49ers rubbed some folks the wrong way.
The displeasure had nothing to do with Garoppolo, who completed two passes Sunday, including one for a touchdown, in garbage time of San Francisco’s 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.
Instead, a few 49ers players were upset with how the home crowd reacted after starting quarterback C.J. Beathard suffered an injury with just over a minute remaining, paving the way for Garoppolo’s first game action since coming to San Francisco.
“First of all, I wanted to say our fans are better than that,” 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster said after the game, according to The Mercury News. “You wait until a guy gets up to cheer, not when a guy’s down. Then when he’s up, you cheer.
“Then when Jimmy goes out there, you cheer. Give him a pep talk, let him know you’re all behind him. But let him (know) you’re behind our (starting) quarterback, too, C.J..”
It’s understandable that most 49ers fans — those who stuck around until the end, at least — were excited to see Garoppolo, who the team acquired from the New England Patriots in exchange for a second-round draft pick just before the Oct. 31 NFL trade deadline. The details surrounding his Niners debut were unfortunate, though. Beathard suffered a lower-body injury after being beat up by the Seahawks’ defense all afternoon and reportedly was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.
“That pisses me off,” 49ers safety Eric Reid said, per the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m disappointed in our fans. I understand the excitement about Jimmy, he’s a great player. But that’s not right.
“People don’t understand what we go through as football players. And what our bodies go through. And he’s laying down on the ground and people are cheering. That’s messed up.”
Of course, it’s entirely possible the fans who cheered weren’t fully aware of Beathard’s injury. Or maybe they assumed it wasn’t anything serious, which is somewhat troubling given how many serious injuries have been suffered across the league this season. In any event, it wasn’t a great look for the home crowd. And it certainly didn’t go unnoticed on the 49ers’ sideline.
“I don’t think it was malicious by our fans and they were cheering his injury,” 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think they just got excited, but, at the same time, you can’t do that. That kind of is a bad look.”
Beathard told reporters after the game he was unaware of the crowd response, as he was too focused on talking with team doctors while exiting the field.
Thumbnail photo via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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