Baker Mayfield has stated he believes he was born to play quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.
But this season has not gone according to plan for Mayfield or the franchise, and on the heels of his career-high four interceptions contributing to a 24-22 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, the quarterback’s wife, Emily Mayfield, disclosed earlier this week she had become aware of “death threats” directed toward her husband on social media.
Mayfield said Thursday on Zoom neither team security nor the authorities became involved — “It’s not that serious,” he added — though the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft is disturbed by the type of social-media activity his spouse referenced.
“It’s hard for me to say not to listen to it because I have quite a bit of experience of hearing a lot of opinions on the outside coming in,” Mayfield said after practicing in preparation for a “Monday Night Football” showdown between the Browns (7-8) and Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1) at Heinz Field. “So it’s hard when it comes down to somebody that you love, that you care about. She’s not able to change some of the outcomes of the game — or any at all.
“So it’s just one of those things where we’re in a world today in society that there’s a lot of keyboard warriors that make empty threats and things like that. It’s quite honestly ignorant when they go after people that aren’t directly involved in football, and then when you talk about taking your own life, killing somebody or all, that, to me, is ignorance. But I try not to listen to it ’cause those are not the people that I would listen to, whether it was good or bad regardless.
“So it’s tough to tell your loved ones and your family not to defend you and look into stuff. That’s just human nature. But you have to take one day at a time and realize your priorities, your family members, the people that truly matter to you, those are the opinions you need to listen to. It’s just one of those things that it’s blown up to be a much bigger deal on the outside. It’s not like it’s anything new for us.”
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Mayfield dealing with a heightened level of vitriol on social media is the most recent wild turn in what he admitted has been a more dramatic season than usual.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Thursday he was aware of Emily Mayfield’s revelation.
“People can and do say some crazy things out there,” Stefanski said. “If it rises to the level of that, certainly we can help address those type of things. Short of that, just in general and not specific to that, in general, there’s a lot of noise out there.”
This is what Emily Mayfield wrote in an Instagram story posted Tuesday:
“It’s crazy how much negativity is amplified via social media. I’m still a believer that there’s more good people out there than bad, but WOW does social media make me think otherwise sometimes. Which plays into why I love to spread positivity. Our world needs more of it.
“The death threats, lies being told about my husband, and blatant DISRESPECT never ceases to amaze me. For the record — I pray for those of you who even think those thoughts, let alone type them out. I hope you can find some happiness so you stop trying to steal it from others.”