It's been a bad season for New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, and this week may be perhaps his worst stretch yet.
Sanchez, who will be benched Sunday against the San Diego Chargers in favor of third-string Greg McElroy, received death threats on Twitter following New York's 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 17.
The sender of the Tweets wrote in direct messages to USA Today Sports that there will be "bullets everywhere" if Sanchez shows up to practice on Wednesday, and included Sanchez's Twitter handle in the message, making sure the quarterback would see the warning. The sender went on to write that Sanchez "better have armed security" at the facility on Wednesday.
A spokesman with the NFL said the league is in contact with the Jets about the situation, but wouldn't confirm what procedures were put into place as a result of the messages, according to Mike Garofolo of USA Today Sports:
"DON'T COME TO PRACTICE WEDNESDAY I PROMISE YOU BULLETS EVERYWHERE....SANCHEZ BETTER HAVE ARMED SECURITY WEDNESDAY AT PRACTICE!! YOU THINK IMMA SIT HERE & WATCH THIS (expletive)?? TUHHH" The fan also suggested he couldn't engage in intimate acts with his girlfriend because he was too upset by Sanchez's performance.
The fan later backed off those comments, saying he's just a die-hard Jets fan:
"I do not want to harm Sanchez or do intend to. I'm just a Die hard Jets fan that was mad & got carried away."The comments come less than a week after an armed gunman broke into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. and shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children. In related news, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah said this week that he will stop doing his in-game "finger gun" routine because gun violence is "out of control" in the United States, according to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.