The Rams‘ Super Bowl parade was supposed to be a day of celebration for Matthew Stafford, but the quarterback took a lot of heat on Feb. 16 for the way he reacted after watching a photographer fall off a stage during the celebration.
In his first public interview since that day, Stafford acknowledged the fact that his reaction probably wasn’t what it should have been while also noting that he reached out to the injured photographer, who was identified as Kelly Smiley.
“Yeah, I mean, that obviously happened really quickly and suddenly and unexpectedly, and wish I had a better reaction in the moment,” Stafford said, via Today.com. “I didn’t. I apologized to her for that, but glad that all in all she’s doing all right.”
The interview about the parade took place on “The Morning After” podcast that his wife, Kelly, hosts each week.
According to Kelly, Matthew felt horrible for the way he reacted.
“I do know that the reaction that the world saw, right, in that split second, I do know that’s not what you wish would have been your reaction,” she said.
After it became clear that Smiley had suffered a back injury, both the Rams and the Staffords reached out the day after the parade to let Smiley know that they would be taking care of all her medical bills.
According to Kelly Stafford, the accident happened after Smiley offered to take a cell phone picture of the Staffords using a phone that belonged to the couple.
“When she offered, she stepped back and fell. And it was an awful, awful moment,” Kelly said.
Kelly Stafford also added that her husband was worried about the photographer’s well-being, despite the video showing him quickly turning around.
“Matthew looked at me and said, ‘Check her please,’ and turned around,” Kelly said.
After Smiley was taken to the hospital, the Staffords were quick to reach out to her.
“Long story short, we followed up with her,” Kelly Stafford said. “The moment we got in the car, Matthew actually looked at me and said, ‘Hey, will you contact the Rams, ask how she’s doing?’ Did that, they’re like, ‘We think she’s going to be OK.’ We sent her flowers. Next day we wake up, (she’s) not OK.”
You can see video from the incident below.