In his first interview with reporters in the locker room since his Jan. 3 arrest, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones blew up a television reporter who asked if Jones wanted to say anything to the fans.
On the first day of voluntary offseason workouts, Jones made it clear to reporters before the interview started he wasn’t going “to talk about court,” but he did give a thoughtful answer early in the session when Fox 19’s Joe Danneman asked how important it was for Jones to still be with the team after the arrest.
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“Words can’t express can’t express my gratitude or my feelings for the organization, Mr. (Mike) Brown, coach (Marvin) Lewis, the teammates, the City of Cincinnati,” Jones said. “This is home for me. I’m very eager to be here. I don’t take it for granted. I love playing football, and I love helping the guys out and working together for one common goal, which is winning. I’m more than happy to be here.”
But a couple of minutes later Jones got irate when Danneman asked, “I know you said you were thankful for the organization, is there anything you have to show to fans, have to prove to the fans for them to welcome you back since there were a lot of people upset with the way things went down in the offseason for you?”
“Didn’t I just tell you don’t ask me that?” Jones said. “You out the (interview). Turn around. Go back that way. See you. Next question. That’s his last interview for the year.”
The reporter complied, but Jones, who reportedly was taking anger management classes in wake of his arrest, continued to berate the reporter while walking toward the restroom after ending the interview, yelling at him for asking “stupid ass (expletive) questions.”
Jones continued after returning for the restroom, telling Danneman to “shut the (expletive) up.” After a couple of teammates tried to calm Jones, Lewis entered the locker room and sat down to talk with him.
Jones’ outburst came less than a minute after he said, “My job is to lead by example here.”
Although Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters dropped a felony charge against Jones follow his January arrest, the cornerback is still facing three misdemeanor charges and potential discipline from the league.
At the NFL meetings in Phoenix last month, Brown, the team owner and president, said he was willing to give Jones another chance.
“I don’t know that I have been perfect in my lifetime, either,” Brown said. “I probably did some things I wish I hadn’t. Most people would probably have to admit to that. He didn’t hurt anybody physically. He just hurt himself by how he comported himself. In some ways that’s punishment enough right there. You have to live with that.
“What the municipal prosecutor does, that hasn’t been determined,” Brown continued. “What the league does, that hasn’t been determined. So when I say ‘play out’ there are more shoes to drop. We’ll see what comes of it. But I hope it ends up that he gets his life back and he has openly apologized. He knows full well what he has done to himself. He regrets it. But it’s been made into a public issue and maybe I am overly tolerant. If so, so be it.”
The Bengals declined to comment after Monday’s incident.