TJ Ward, a former NFL player who spent the majority of his time with the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, attacked Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera for having cancer, and fans then went after him. This started when Rivera spoke out against NFL players who are not vaccinated.
"I think it's frustrating. Especially in the fact that last year we were the No. 1 team against COVID," Rivera said. "Our players took the challenge of staying inside the bubble, doing the things the right way and for the most part, you know we only had two situations. Both of them were guys who weren't on the active 53, so it turned out to be a positive for us, as far as being COVID-free. And now for whatever reason, we have some reluctance to do that, to get the vaccine." Rivera's comments led to Ward going to Twitter saying that he shouldn't blame the players for getting cancer due to "life long health decisions." Those who saw the tweets decided to fire back at Ward.
TJ ward said enough of that cancer malarkey Ron pic.twitter.com/61pziHKItJ— Astral Plane Mugabe (@PintOfJack) July 28, 2021
"TJ Ward legit said Ron Rivera's cancer was due to life choices and that players shouldn't have to worry about him with Covid," one fan wrote. "Send him to an island away from mankind that man is an f—ing worthless scumbag." Former NFL player Damien Woody also went after Ward for his comment.
"I've seen plenty of foul things on here but TJ Ward is definitely the leader in the clubhouse," Woody wrote. Ward double-down on his original comments, saying that cancer runs in his family and you have to "pay for them vices." Ward has deleted the tweets but did post a tweet explaining why he responded strongly to Rivera.
"Gonna address this one time more. I was not trying [to] be insensitive to anyone effected (sic) by the cancer," Ward wrote. "I know you don't chose (sic) to get cancer. And I tried to clear that up. If you know me and my career you know what my support is for cancer people dealing with it. I've been effected (sic) myself closley (sic). I didn't mean to offend you, God bless." Ward played in the NFL from 2010-2017. He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014.