Miami Dolphins G.M. Jeff Ireland has admitted he exchanged heated words with a fan during Sunday's game, has issued an apology for using the word "a--hole."
According to the Miami Herald, the story first surfaced through local talk radio, when multiple callers reported that Ireland had been taking pictures and signing autographs with Dolphins fans when one fan began to criticize Ireland's work as general manager, asking that Ireland "fire himself:"
According to everyone I've talked to including team officials, Ireland responded by using the term "a--hole" either directed at the fan or loud enough for the fan to hear as he walked away.
The Dolphins contend there was no argument between Ireland and the fan. The fan, going by the name Sean, called The Ticket and confirmed there wasn't an argument. But the fan did say, "The sum and substance of what I suggested is that he should fire himself."
Spicy! The issue might have remained a "fan-said, Jeff-said" affair, but Ireland called the Herald directly on Tuesday to clear up the confusion and admit at least some wrongdoing:
"It did happen at halftime and I was going back to my booth after seeing my wife and I did talk to several fans that were very nice. But as I'm walking back this guy introduces himself to me and says I should fire myself," Ireland said.
"It caught me off guard. I just turned and walked away but I did say the word. I regret I used the word I used. I thought I was using it under my breath. I guess I kind of said it loud enough that he could hear it. I literally said it under my breath. At the time I felt I handled the situation pretty good. Probably muttered it a little too loud. I regret that I said anything."
Gotta work on those indoor/outdoor voices, Mr. Ireland. It's unclear if anything more will come of this "incident." There was no physical contact, and no team rules or laws were broken.
For more on Jeff Ireland and Miami Dolphins, head over to The Phinsider.