Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt says that his sack celebration, following his second sack of the Cardinals loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, was a tribute to former Vikings pass rusher Jared Allen.
Allen was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime.
“I also want to clear up — clearly the fans here misinterpreted my Jared Allen tribute,” Watt said, according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss. “Jared Allen’s one of my favorite players of all time, and that was absolutely a way to honor him on his night here. Zero disrespect. I would never disrespect him.
“I have a lot of respect for Jared Allen, so I hope that clears that up.”
Watt shared his appreciation of Allen, and the Ring of Honor ceremony where Allen entered the field on horseback.
“He’s one of the best of all time,” Watt said of Allen. “He’s a great player. I loved watching him. I met him a couple of times. I have a massive amount of respect for him. So, it was great to see him go into their Ring of Honor. It’s very well-deserved. And I hope he took it as a tribute and understood that it was a sign of respect.”