The New York Jets did not have a good Week 1, losing 24-9 to the Baltimore Ravens in front of their own fans. But amid that blowout loss, CB DJ Reed was able to create a special moment to pay tribute to someone he lost.
With under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson reared back and launched the ball downfield. The pass was meant for wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, but Reed was right in front of him, and when they both jumped up to catch the ball, Reed is the one who came down with it. Even though the Jets were losing badly (the score at that time was 24-3), Reed knelt down at midfield, bowed his head, and then raised his arms to the sky.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 11, 2022
Some people watching may have thought a celebration like that wasn't appropriate since the Jets were down 21 points with 2:42 left in the game. But Reed had a good reason for doing what he did. He was paying tribute to his father, who had died right before the game started. Reed shared this info in an interview with Otis Livingston, the sports director at CBS2-New York.
Be careful when criticizing. You have no idea what a person is going through. DJ Reed got an interception & paid tribute while getting blown out. Some "fans" didn't like it at the time. But listen to why he did it in my exclusive Jets Late Night interview... RIP Dennis Reed Sr. pic.twitter.com/foXkJIAIt2
— Otis Livingston (@OlivingstonTV) September 12, 2022
“My dad passed away literally right before this game," Reed said. "I was emotional, still emotional… that pick was for my dad. It wasn’t celebrating… that was much deeper than football.”
Once Livingston posted his interview with Reed on Twitter, fans were sending their condolences, and some were even apologizing for criticizing him.
He so tough for playing I woulda prolly went into shock prayers up for this young man 🙏🏾 https://t.co/LIPGMGgWr3
— Still I Rise 🙏🏾 (@MGambit7) September 12, 2022
I’m guilty!! I def was. I apologize. When you are wrong…you are wrong. Condolences to him and his family in these tough times. No matter what happens during the game…life is still going on all around us. Gotta Have some compassion. https://t.co/A5yRcT6WOo
— Alex Renfroe (@LilAl523) September 12, 2022
RIP man, playing that game had to be incredibly hard, a lotta respect from me https://t.co/vdhNUXRjiL
— shoob. (@subi_lawal14) September 12, 2022
I was useless for two weeks and barely functional for over a month when my mom passed so to go out RIGHT after hearing his dad passed and played let alone get a pick…. Props to @d7_reed. https://t.co/Ny4eTVKU7T
— I’m Not OK (@da_breezman77) September 12, 2022
Reed tweeted a video of the pick right after the game ended, and sent it to his father.