The Redskins are used to being asked about off-the-field drama. And that was no different on Monday—except the subject was the Nationals and Sunday’s dugout scuffle between Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon.
“I mean, that was pretty weird to see,” linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “You hate to see the MVP getting choked out.”
Papelbon has been suspended by the Nationals without pay for four games for his role in the fight.
“Those kinds of things happen, especially in baseball,” Kerrigan added. “ Especially when you’re around guys for six months, although Papelbon was only acquired a couple of months ago. Those things happen. Hopefully there are no lingering effects from that for them.”
Running back Matt Jones said: “You should be able to talk it out. If you can’t talk it out, you got to solve it another way.”
“What’s the saying? Boys will be boys?” Williams said. “When you’re around males, in an alpha male sport, tempers flare. It’s just like when you fight with your older brother or younger brother or your best friend. When you’re dealing with men that type of stuff happens. But nobody carries it past that. I know, speaking from our standpoint, in this locker room, once a skirmish happens, it dies right there. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works around the league and around other leagues.”
Coach Jay Gruden said he didn’t see the brawl but said it’s important to make sure the beef is squashed and doesn’t carry over.
“Scuffles happen,” he said. “Emotions happen in football games, baseball games, sporting events. High-intensity games, high-intensity players, guys who are passionate about winning those things will happen. You’ve got to try and fix it [and] make sure it never happens again. You never want to see you own team doing that. But sometimes it happens when you have highly competitive-type players.”