ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings lost their fourth straight game Sunday, and then in the frustration of the aftermath, one of their big money receivers got into another kind of battle — online.
Wide receiver Bernard Berrian only caught one pass in Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but it was a memorable one: A 4th down catch that kept the Vikings alive for a while.
Then, after the game, he got into a memorable exchange with a fan on Twitter, but he apparently didn’t know that fan was an influential lawmaker, a new stadium backer and a decorated combat veteran.
After Berrian complained he’s not getting passes thrown to him, Rep. John Kriesel jumped in.
“First, I want to let people know that I started it,” said Kriesel on WCCO-AM. “I took a shot and, you know, made a joke about the fact that he says he’s always open and should get the ball more. And he quickly responded, and I was surprised that he responded.”
WCCO’s Chad Hartman Interviews Kriesel
“Anytime u wanna watch the film with me,” tweeted Berrian. “Not just one game but all of them … and if not sit down n shut up!!”
Berrian apparently didn’t know Kriesel is a wounded Iraq War veteran who lost both his legs in a an IED explosion that killed several of his friends.
Kriesel responded: “Don’t be pissed at me dude. Make a play.”
Berrian said he’s no stranger to angry fans, but Kriesel’s bothered him more than most.
“This one got to me,” tweeted Berrian. “I didn’t like what was said so I shot back.”
On Monday, Berrian called Kriesel and left a message, but they haven’t yet spoken.
Kriesel said the whole episode is blown way out of proportion and whatever was tweeted, it doesn’t change his views on a Vikings stadium.
“My opinion remains the same. I believe the Vikings need a new stadium. I believe they are a cultural asset to the state of Minnesota,” said Kriesel.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said players are instructed on the proper use of social media, and he’s confident Berrian won’t make the same mistake again.