Johnny Manziel’s Canadian debut isn’t without controversy

Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams is apologizing for harsh comments directed against Montreal fans following the team’s 44-23 loss to Edmonton on Thursday, when cheers for second-stringer Johnny Manziel erupted in the stands.

“I was just emotional,” Adams said Tuesday, according to Canada’s “I need to be better. I know I would never disrespect the fans or anything like that.”

The Alouettes dropped to 1-5 in Thursday’s game, and their faithful were chanting, “We want Johnny!” as early as the second quarter. Adams called the spectators’ behavior “disrespectful.”

“It hurt me to hear that. I have nothing more to say or to give to the supporters of Montreal. Never again,” Adams said in the days following the loss. “Their behavior was very disrespectful. It was not like I was playing badly. I do not want them to ask me for anything, not even a small piece of equipment.”

Adams completed 15-of-28 passes for 217 yards with a lone interception. Head coach Mike Sherman announced Tuesday that Manziel, 25, would get his first CFL start. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner hasn’t started a game since 2015, when he was still on the Browns’ roster.

After being cut from Cleveland following two seasons in early 2016, Manziel spiraled. He addressed his struggles with substance abuse and bipolar disorder earlier this year, before signing a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in May. Hamilton, though, had one of the top quarterbacks in the league, Jeremiah Masoli, locked in as the starter and traded Manziel to the Alouettes last month.

“It can cause a little bit of chaos,” Manziel said about potentially being a distraction. “But if you get a chance to really know me and know what I’m about, I don’t feel like there’s a lot of that anymore. And I appreciate the support that I do get, being in a completely new, different place. The support and everything that I’ve gotten and the messages and the amount of people that have been encouraging throughout my journey of life to get back to this point today has been — it’s been really nice.”

Adams took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, wishing his successor well ahead of Friday’s game against Manziel’s former team.

“I am truly sorry for letting my emotions get the best of me in that moment. I’m a competitor, and I responded poorly. I understand y’all wanted to see JM2, & I wish him the best & care most about the Alouettes winning games. Love this Team,” Adams wrote.

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