Dallas Cowboys rookie Micah Parsons apologized this week for a social media post that offended some NFL fans who thought he was disrespectful of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Parsons, who will wear No. 11, reposted a photo to his Instagram account of veteran teammate Jaylon Smith, who recently changed his uniform to No. 9.
The caption read, “9-11 thats so scary,” according to TheSpun.com.
Parsons, 22, said he was making a reference to what has the potential to be one of the NFL’s best linebacker combinations and the key to turning around a historically bad 2020 Cowboys defense.
But several fans read it as a reference to the terrorist attacks.
“Man people are sick,” Parsons wrote Thursday on Twitter. “I would never disrespect my country in any [way!] I was supporting my teammate and jersey numbers! The vet and the rookie! If you took any offense I apologize to all and to all those involved.”
Smith wore No. 9 at Notre Dame and reportedly will pay close to six figures to buy out the inventory of remaining No. 54 jerseys and T-shirts. A newly amended NFL rule expanded the use of single-digit numbers beyond quarterbacks and specialists, prompting a slew of players around the league to change numbers.
Parsons was selected 12th-overall in the 2021 NFL Draft after some teams, including the Giants, passed on arguably the best defensive prospect in the class due to character concerns that extended back to high school, when he allegedly yelled “Gun!” in a cafeteria and was suspended for “inciting a riot.”