A number of Jaguars fans showed up to Sunday’s regular season finale against the Colts wearing clown costumes in an effort to persuade owner Shad Khan to fire general manager Trent Baalke.
The gesture was expected, with thousands of fans changing their social media profile pictures earlier this week to a clown donning Khan’s signature mustache.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was asked about the gesture last Wednesday. “Would I do that, personally? No I wouldn't do it, but fans feel how they feel. But it's hard after this year...I get the frustration,” the rookie said.
Per USA Today, before kickoff, a plane was seen flying around the Jaguars stadium with a banner reading “#KLOWNTOWN” as part of the festivities. At one point in the game during an in-game trivia contest, a fan also answered her given question by saying, “Fire Baalke.”
In late December, NFL Network reported that Baalke, who was hired last offseason, would be retained and would work with Khan in the search for the team's next coach. The team needs to replace former coach Urban Meyer, who was dismissed mid-season in what was his debut NFL campaign.
Baalke inherited a Jaguars team that had the No. 1 draft pick (quarterback Trevor Lawrence), five of the first 65 selections and about $100 million in salary cap space. Jacksonville, however, has struggled throughout the season and entered Week 18 having lost eight consecutive games.
Baalke made three consecutive NFC championship games with San Francisco (2011–13), when coach Jim Harbaugh was with the franchise. But he also oversaw the brief tenures of coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly. Entering Week 18, Baalke had a 59-68-1 record as a general manager.
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