WASHINGTON — Kevin Durant once called Wizards fans “disrespectful” for cheering so raucously for him, instead of the hometown Wizards, during a game at Verizon Center. Wizards guard Bradley Beal echoed that sentiment, and so, too, did John Wall.
So you might imagine D.C. fans’ confusion when Wall appeared on the FedEx Field sideline Sunday, before a game between the Cowboys and hometown Redskins, wearing an Emmitt Smith Cowboys jersey.
Redskins fans were outraged. Many even wondered if Wall had turned heel and was now blatantly trolling them.
Wall, believe it or not, was surprised by their reaction, he told Chris Miller of CSN Mid-Atlantic.
“I’m really surprised by that reaction,” Wall said. “The funny part is, I tell everybody, every time we do the Jumbotron, they’re like, ‘Who? Cowboys? Redskins?’ I say, ‘Cowboys.’ I get boo’d throughout the whole arena. So it ain’t like it’s nothing new.
“I could see if I wore a Cowboys jersey like with a Dez Bryant, or Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott — one of the current guys,” he said. “I wore a legendary guy. But it’s my team. It’s vice versa. You can never cheer for both teams, but when they’re not playing each other, I cheer for the Redskins because it’s a D.C. team.”
“But like I try to tell everybody — ‘Oh, you’re disloyal’ — I’m not from Washington, D.C. I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina and the Cowboys have always been my team,” he said.
“I respect and love every team and cheer for every team, and hope every in Washington, D.C. do well, just like they do for us. But you can’t say, ‘Well, DeSean Jackson like this LA team, the Lakers.’ Well, he’s from LA. He’s not from Washington, D.C., he just plays for the Redskins, so it wasn’t no disrespect, it’s just my favorite team and everyone understands and knows that.”
Miller wisely followed up by asking Wall for his message to people who say he’s being hypocritical, by publicly supporting a non-local team after being so adamant Wizards fans should support their local team at Verizon Center.
“The difference is, was you a Steph Curry fan before the last two years?” Wall said.
“I’ve been a Cowboys fan since I was born,” he said. “I was a mama’s boy. That’s the team I grew up watching play. It ain’t like I just switched to the Cowboys all of a sudden when I got to D.C., you know what I mean? It ain’t like that. I mean, like, if you grew up here and this was your team growing up when they were the Bullets and all that, let it be your team, then.
“You can still have a favorite player, which is understandable, but let this be your main team. I never had a favorite player in football. I just liked one team. So when people come here with a Kobe Bryant jersey on, well, a lot of people love the Mamba. I can’t be mad at that. But don’t come in here and say, ‘I’m a Wizards fan, but I’m wearing a Mamba.’ Okay, I can understand that for one game. There’s plenty of games, if you play certain teams that don’t even have a big fan base and have a big superstar, and they’re booing us and cheering for them. That’s what I’m talking about.”