Chris Thompson clears the air with The Fan about ‘calling out’ Redskins fans

Two weeks ago the Redskins were coming off a 21-9 loss to the Colts in their home opener, which drew a record low attendance figure of 57,013 for FedEx Field.
After the game, Redskins running back Chris Thompson was asked to comment on the fans, a request he obliged.

"I think, as players, we go out there, we want a loud crowd, we want a crowd out there to give us a boost," Thompson said, speaking honestly (something we can all probably hope for more of from players). "When their offense is on the field, put them in situations where the communication may be off because they can't hear and things like that, and we didn't have a good turnout."

"Me, I noticed it," he said. "I also noticed the boos we got as well, and that's not something that I'm a real big fan of. If you're a fan of a team, you shouldn't be booing them, whether we're doing good or bad. We understand as players that we're not performing how we should. You don't have to boo us to let us know – we're out there on the field."

Thompson asserted his opinion that fans shouldn't boo the home team, while also admitting the team itself needed to "have a better showing than that."

As I've done many times before, I transcribed the quotes, provided the necessary context and, with the help of an editor, crated this headline: "Redskins player calls out fans for poor attendance."

After tweeting out the story, gut reactions immediately came pouring in. Fans were seemingly split down the middle, some saying "well put a better product on the field, then," and others siding with Thompson and attacking 106.7 The Fan's credibility.

Chris Thompson calls out #Redskins fans for poor attendance: "I noticed it. I also noticed the boos we got as well, and that's not something that I'm a real big fan of."

— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) September 17, 2018

Two hours later, Thompson weighed in from his personal Twitter account to voice his displeasure with the headline. He also instructed his followers to "read the article," signaling he was okay with the story itself in proper context, but took issue with the characterization of him 'calling out' Redskins fans.

I hate this headline honestly. Read the article. I won’t get into a Twitter war but if you think I would just “call out”/bash the fans then you clearly don’t know me and it’s a shot at me as a person.

— Chris Thompson (@ChrisThompson_4) September 17, 2018

Here's the thing: Both opinions can be correct, because opinions can change with perspective.

I was fortunate to catch up with Thompson in person at 106.7 The Fan's 5th Annual Fan Fest over the weekend, where he was a guest of The Fan's. And Thompson was more than gracious in allowing me to interview him. If the roles were reversed, I'm not sure how I'd react to such a request, but I can assure you Thompson is a decent person.

Watch the interview above and form your own opinion, but I see things differently now.

To be clear, I still agree with the spirit of the headline. But I also understand that Thompson can look at that same headline and see something entirely different. I can also admit, after speaking to him personally, I probably wouldn't phrase the headline that same way today. This is the nuance of the thing – once you know someone, your perception changes, which is all Thompson was ever arguing from the beginning.

It's difficult to get all of that across in just a headline.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter