Jabrill Peppers dealing with harassment from some Browns fans

Some confrontations have crossed the line, no longer goes out by himself

Daryl Ruiter
October 04, 2018 - 3:18 pm
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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Jabrill Peppers knows that he’s not playing up to expectations on the field, but that has led to problems with fans off the field.

A day after telling Scott Petrak of the Chronicle Telegram that he’s dealt with frequent run-ins with angry fans while out and about downtown, Peppers clarified his comments that Browns fans were “wishy washy.”

“I said the environment, but this is the NFL and that’s how it is,” Peppers said Thursday after practice. “Love you when you’re doing good and they don’t when you’re not. We know we have to play better. Obviously, I wasn’t talking about the fans as a whole, just more so the environment of an NFL franchise.

“We understand the city of Cleveland loves their Browns and wants to see us get back to how it’s supposed to be. You know, but that’s just the NFL. They either love you when you’re doing good and not so much when you’re not.”

Peppers said “absolutely” him being a former Michigan player plays into some fans’ hostility towards him. Cleveland is home to one of the largest groups of Ohio State alumni in the country.

“As of late, it’s become a little bit different situation than just verbal,” Peppers said of the Michigan chiding.

Peppers has been approached most downtown when he goes to the store and claims that some fans have “walked up on him” which is why he no longer goes out by himself as a precaution.

 “Every time I go out. Even if got a hoodie on,” Peppers said of the frequency of the encounters with angry fans.

Peppers has done all he can to prevent the confrontations escalating beyond just verbal jabs.  

“For me I have way more to lose than the average guy [in a confrontation],” Peppers said. “It puts me in a kind of funky situation where I can’t even go get daily toiletries or things without having to worry about something like that.”

Peppers isn’t letting the negative encounters affect his feelings towards Cleveland, the Browns, or fans in northeast Ohio.

“Oh, no. Absolutely not. I love the Browns. I love the city of Cleveland. I love how passionate the fans are and part of what I get is my fault,” Peppers said. “I’m not playing up to my potential and they see that as well, so you can’t fault the people for feeling how they feel. You gotta take it with a grain of salt and do what you gotta do to get better.”

Peppers was pulled from kick return duty at Oakland following four returns that netted just 64 yards and saw him stopped shy of the 20 twice. He is averaging 21.3 yards per kickoff return and 4.3 yards per punt return this season.

Defensively, Peppers, who has played 48.5 percent of the snaps, hasn’t done much since recovering a fumble and registering six tackles in Week 1 against Pittsburgh. The safety and 2017 No. 25 overall pick has just 15 tackles – and only one of them for a loss.

Peppers knows there’s only one way to get fans off his back.

“I've just got to play better and make the plays on the field to get them to like me,” Peppers said.