The Cleveland Browns have now identified the fan who threw a bottle that struck team owner Jimmy Haslam. The NFL organization has plans to ban the fan from games. Haslam was struck with the bottle during Sunday’s close 31-30 loss to the New York Jets.
In the video, Haslam walks toward the Browns’ tunnel right after Jets receiver Garrett Wilson tied the game with a touchdown. Haslam walks and stops after getting hit in the leg with a bottle. He then looks and points toward someone in the stands, and other on-field personnel turn their heads, as well.
Footage from inside the stadium later identified the fan. The fan is expected to be banned from attending Browns games at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“The #Browns have identified and plan to ban a fan who threw a bottle that struck owner Jimmy Haslam late in Sunday’s loss to the #Jets, per sources,” he wrote in his caption. “Here’s my video of what could’ve been a dangerous situation. The team is cooperating with authorities.”
The Browns released a statement on Tuesday addressing the incident.
“Fan, player and staff safety is the top priority in our building and behavior that puts others in danger will not be tolerated,” the statement said. “Luckily no one was harmed in this incident and as a standard practice, we’ve cooperated with law enforcement authorities and security video footage of the object being thrown is in the appropriate hands. We will have no further comment on this matter.”
Fans React to Video of Jimmy Haslam Getting Hit with Bottle
Per a Cleveland Police report, the suspect “appeared to be intoxicated” while leaving the stadium. The suspect now faces three charges: misdemeanor assault, failure to comply with a lawful order, and disorderly conduct.
Fans reacted to the incident on Twitter. Some thought the incident was overblown, and others referenced the Browns’ acquiring of embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“Not cool by the fan but it’s just a water bottle,” one person wrote.
“You know what else could be a dangerous situation? Enabling a serial predator by handing him $230M guaranteed,” another fan wrote, referencing the Watson situation.
Another fan referenced the Watson situation by saying that the fan shouldn’t have received a ban from the stadium but rather only an 11-game ban, the same suspension many view as light considering the circumstances.
“Should only be banned for 11 games imo,” the fan wrote.
However, the incident in Cleveland wasn’t the only encounter between fans and people on the field. Not only did Haslam get hit with a water bottle, but Kyler Murray was allegedly struck by a fan in the stands during celebrations of Arizona’s overtime win against the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas Police are currently investigating that incident.