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Buffalo Bills player Shaq Lawson apologizes after video catches him appearing to hit Philly Eagles fan: 'I made a mistake'
Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson (circled in yellow) just prior to him appearing to hit an Eagles fan during game in Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 2023. (Image source: X video screenshot via @danfetes)

Buffalo Bills player Shaq Lawson apologizes after video catches him appearing to hit Philly Eagles fan: 'I made a mistake'

Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson apologized after cellphone video caught him appearing to hit a Philadelphia Eagles fan in the stands during Sunday's game in the City of Brotherly Love.

"Those of you who know me know that I'm all about the fans, and I have a lot of respect for the game I play and my opponents," Lawson wrote on Instagram on Monday, according to ESPN. "Before the game started yesterday, there was a fan behind our bench, who was making life threatening remarks towards us and our families. We asked Philadelphia security to remove the fan, but he was allowed to stay for the entire game. Eventually, our emotions boiled over, and I made a mistake. For that, I apologize, but there are certain lines that should not be crossed." Lawson's Instagram account was on the "private" setting Tuesday morning.

What happened?

Video shows four Bills players walking from their bench to the stands to confront an Eagles fan. Bills defensive tackle Jordan Phillips — who stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 341 pounds, and wears the number 97 jersey — gets into the face of the fan, who continues to yell from the stands while holding what appears to be a Miller Lite beer can.

Lawson — who stands 6 feet, 3 inches tall, weighs 265 pounds, and wears the number 90 jersey — is just behind and to the right of Phillips and is seen appearing to strike the fan with his right hand as the hooting and hollering intensify. Content warning: F-bombs and raised middle fingers:

Phillips — using similar words and phrases as Lawson — also claimed on Instagram that he and his family were threatened: "I love the crowd I love rowdy fans it makes the game fun. But one thing I'm not going to tolerate is someone threatening me or my family. This is a line that shouldn't be crossed."

Here's video of the incident from the opposite angle:

The following video contains four cuts showing the same Bills players getting angry at Eagles fans during the game; it's not clear if what is depicted in the video was recorded before or after Lawson apparently hitting the fan:

In one cut from the above clip, Lawson appears to visually suggest putting an Eagles fan to sleep, which can be viewed as a euphemism for knocking out an adversary:

Image source: X video screenshot via @DrDutchTweets, composite

Below is another set of videos showing Bills players reacting angrily to Eagles fans. One clip also features a guy who claims he sat near the fan Lawson apparently hit and that Phillips threatened to the fan that he would "beat his ass" and was "screaming at the security guard to get him kicked out." He also claims Phillips' Instagram statement is "a lie."

Anything else?

Bills coach Sean McDermott at his weekly news conference Monday called the situation "unfortunate," ESPN said, adding that "it's unfortunate that that would go on during a game in particular. And what I'm aware of is that people were asked to have the fan removed and nothing was done. So, at the end of the day, that's not for us to concern ourselves with at this point. It's just unfortunate overall that that would be taking place during a game."

An NFL source told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Lawson likely will be fined and probably suspended. The Eagles beat the Bills 37-34 in overtime.

This story has been updated with an additional X post.

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