Days after cameras caught Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant leaving the field before the conclusion of their 37-36 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Bryant was forced to apologize to his teammates again, this time for leaving a team screening of the 2004 film The Notebook.
According to sources close to the team, Bryant loudly got out of his seat and jogged toward the door immediately following the film’s most emotional scene, in which a woman suffering from dementia cannot remember the man with whom she shared a 40-year romance depicted in the first half of the film.
Hours later, Bryant took to Twitter to explain himself.
The next day, Bryant apologized to his teammates and coaches directly.
“I was wrong,” he told reporters. “It didn’t have anything to do with my teammates. I just … I couldn’t watch Ryan Gosling have his heart broken like that. I was very emotional. I cried and ate a bunch of ice cream when I got home. I didn’t want my teammates to make fun of me again like they did when we watched Marley and Me.”
Coach Jason Garrett said he understood Bryant’s behavior, but would speak to the wide receiver today to discourage future outbursts.
“I understand what Dez was going through to a certain extent — if we had watched The Green Mile I would have done the same thing,” Garrett said, adding that the film screening was a team-building exercise meant to make players feel more comfortable with the horrible pangs of sadness that often accompany Cowboys games. “He loves his teammates and cares deeply about the organization. He just needs to realize that when it comes to team-building exercises like this, he has to be there, and let the emotion flow.”
At press time, Garrett said he was still deciding what film to show for next week’s screening, but had narrowed it down to Requiem for a Dream or Sophie’s Choice.