Matthew Stafford's Off-Field Behavior Has Fans Truly Furious

After his first Super Bowl win with the Los Angeles Rams, quarterback Matthew Stafford is officially on the NFL A-List, with devoted fans in California of course, among Detroiters who consider him their own after he spent 12 years on the Detroit Lions (not to mention, millions of other football fans across the country who simply admire a top tier athlete). That said, there is some behavior guaranteed to lose you popular support, even if you've just won your very first Super Bowl. Unfortunately, a video taken during the post-Super Bowl festivities shows Stafford exhibiting just that kind of behavior. And it's going viral. 

The short clip circulating all over social media was taken on February 16 outside the LA Memorial Coliseum, according to the Daily Mail, and shows a photographer taking pics of Stafford and his wife on stage during the celebration. What happens next isn't graphic, but it definitely isn't pretty to watch. 

Matthew Stafford walked away from fallen photographer

A video that has quickly gone viral on social media, taken during the LA Rams post-Super Bowl festivities, shows a photographer identified as Kelly Smiley, according to the Daily Mail, taking photos of quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly Stafford. Suddenly, Smiley can be seen taking a step backward and accidentally falling off the stage. You can see Stafford registering that Smiley has fallen, but then merely turns his back and takes a sip from his water bottle. Meanwhile his wife — the woman in the blue blazer — immediately rushes forward to help. 

The fall was no minor slip. Smiley fell 10 feet from the stage to the ground, damaged her equipment, and fractured her spine, Deadspin reported. She later wrote on social media that she had spent the night of February 16 in the hospital trauma center, but as of this writing, there has been no update on her recovery. There hasn't been any word from Stafford, the NFL, or the Rams either. 

Social media is furious at Matthew Stafford

As you can probably imagine, the response on social media has been swift and furious. "What an awful look for Matt Stafford," wrote one Twitter user. "I can't stop thinking about how a Rams photographer fell off the stage trying to take a picture of Matt and Kelly Stafford and Matt Stafford literally ran away," another person tweeted, calling him a "piece of sh*t human." Another person wrote on Twitter, "IMO: Matt Stafford turning his back and walking away from a photographer who fell and injured her spine is a pretty big indictment of his character." A local news anchor tweeted, "Yikes," in all caps. 

Anger at Stafford wasn't the only reaction though. A few Rams fans actually defended the quarterback, asking what else he was supposed to do. "The 'controversy' surrounding Matt Stafford not helping that photographer is stupid af in my opinion. He was drunk and most likely would've made things worse," one person tweeted. "I can think of several ways Matt Stafford could be sued if he tried to help the photographer with how intoxicated he was," tweeted another.

Meanwhile, others circulated a link to the GoFundMe a friend of Kelly Smiley's set up to help pay for her growing medical expenses. 

Matthew Stafford is getting bad headlines

Though he spent 12 years as quarterback for the Detroit Lions, his Super Bowl win with the Los Angeles Rams is really the first time Matthew Stafford has gained major national attention. That means that for most people in the United States, the first thing they've seen of Stafford off the field is him turning his back on a woman after watching her fall 10 feet onto the pavement. As far as public relations goes, we'd call this a miss. 

He's not just getting a bad reaction from fans on social media, the news media has taken a harsh view of his reaction as well. Deadspin's pointed headline read, "We were better off when Matthew Stafford just toiled in mediocrity and obscurity." The Daily Mail sarcastically observed, "What a gent!" An Australian news site headlined the story, "Star's 'scumbag' move after woman falls." Possibly the kindest media reaction we could find was from Dawg Nation, who wrote, "Matthew Stafford caught in awkward moment." 

We're not sure whether this incident will have any meaningful impact on Stafford's NFL career or his likelihood of getting into the Hall of Fame, though if we had to guess we'd say no. It will, however, probably leave a bad taste in football fans' mouths for some time.