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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Matt LaFleur criticizes FOX over his viral Anders Carlson comment

Matt LaFleur stands on the sideline

Head coach Matt LaFleur during Green Bay Packers training camp at Ray Nitschke Field Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in Ashwaubenon, Wis. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis. via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur cleaned up a viral comment he made about rookie kicker Anders Carlson that was shared during Saturday’s NFC Divisional loss.

LaFleur went viral when FOX’s Tom Rinaldi shared the coach’s comment during Saturday’s broadcast. The Packers coach apparently said “I just pray” after sending Carlson, a rookie who led the league in missed kicks, out for a field goal attempt.

The coach clarified the comment on Monday, saying that it was made in jest and he was disappointed that the FOX crew had shared it without proper context.

“That was extremely disappointing that that’s how that message got portrayed,” LaFleur told reporters. “I’ve been a part of production meetings ever since I became a coordinator and I’ve never had an experience like that, but it is what it is. I talked to Anders about it. I think any time something’s out of your control, kind of saying it in jest and having fun with it, but it got portrayed that way and it’s a learning lesson for me.”

Rinaldi shared the comment after Carlson missed a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that would have given the Packers a seven-point lead.

It is fair to say that FOX should have made it clear that LaFleur was joking around provided the coach made it obvious that he was. Of course, as he noted, LaFleur should know by now that anything he might share in a production meeting is liable to be relayed on the air, sometimes in ways that he might not have intended.

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