"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."
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.