During a pre-season match between the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins, Johnny Manziel gave the Redskins’ bench the middle finger towards the end of the third quarter.
Manziel was in a position battle for the starting quarterback position versus Brian Hoyer.
Some of the Browns players were in defense of Manziel. Cornerback Joe Haden said “Manziel was a target of verbal abuse throughout the game from Redskins players and fans alike.” While that does not completely justify his actions, it does show that there were mitigating factors.
Manziel clearly did not expect the cameras to be on him as he jogged away from the Redskins bench after a third-quarter play and raised his middle finger towards the bench.
The rookie QB referred to his gesture as a lapse in judgement. Manziel later stated “I should have been smarter. It was a Monday Night Football game. There’s always words exchanged on the football field.”
When Coach Mike Pettine was asked if this incident will factor into the quarterback decision, he said: “It’s whoever gives us the best chance to win the opener will be the starter.”