NASCAR fans know all about Tyrann Mathieu’s antics

Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs, Super Bowl (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs, Super Bowl (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

NASCAR fans are all too familiar with the antics of Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, who again landed in the spotlight for the wrong reasons in Super Bowl LV.

Tyrann Mathieu, who has become notable for deleting strongly worded tweets, was back at it again on Sunday evening after his Kansas City Chiefs were demolished by Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium, the same venue where the Chiefs had beaten the Buccaneers — and rubbed it in — by a score of 27-24 in late November.

This time, the Buccaneers put together the most dominant Super Bowl effort since the Seattle Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos by a most unusual score of 43-8 seven years ago in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Save for their 3-0 lead in the first quarter, the Chiefs never had any kind of advantage, and the Buccaneers rolled to a 31-9 win to claim their second ever Lombardi Trophy, completely neutralizing the passing attack of reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

One of the storylines of the game was Mathieu, who is known for his trash talk, jawing back and forth with Brady after the whistle, which at one point led to the 43-year-old Brady chasing him around the field — not something you typically see from any quarterback.

After the embarrassing loss, Mathieu took to Twitter and put out a tweet, which he has since deleted, stating the following.

“He called me something I won’t repeat but yeah I’ll let all the media throw me under the bus as if I did something or said something to him…go back to my previous games against TB12 I showed him nothing but respect. Look at my interviews about him…I show grace.”

Many fans assumed he was implying a racist remark, but others pointed out that Mathieu deleted the tweet as soon as he found out Brady was actually “mic’d up” during the big game.

NFL Films reportedly won’t share the audio, as is typical for squabbles of his nature, and Michael Irvin, who reportedly heard the audio, said earlier this week on Rich Eisen’s show that no slurs were used and the exchange contained nothing more than typical profanity heard throughout any NFL game.

“Listen, Tom Brady’s a great quarterback,” Mathieu said after the game. “I never really saw that side of Tom Brady, to be honest. But whatever. I’m over it. No comment.”

More like “deleted comment”.

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But NASCAR fans watching this game could have and should have seen this coming.

Back in the summer of 2019, before Mathieu had played a snap with the Chiefs and subsequently become a Super Bowl champion in Super Bowl LIV, he took offense to a tweet posted by NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski.

Mathieu, to his credit, demonstrated the dangers of leaving pets locked in cars, especially during summer months, for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for Heat Awareness Day.

He stayed in a hot car for as long as he could to illustrate those dangers, and proving his point, he didn’t last more than eight minutes in the car, which reached 120 degrees inside amid the 90-degree day. He simply couldn’t take it anymore.

Keselowski, who drives the #2 Ford Mustang for Team Penske, posted the following in response to that video in an effort to further prove the fact that NASCAR drivers are athletes, given the fact that they compete in hours for cars that can reach temperatures of more than 150 degrees.

Keselowski is known for making bold statements about athletes from other sports, notably calling out LeBron James and saying that “your ass will get fired” in NASCAR if you decide to sit out of a race just to rest, like James has done for multiple NBA games.

While it may have been as perceived as insensitive, Keselowski clearly wasn’t insulting Mathieu or the video itself. In fact, his response was to a Reddit tweet which brought up the whole topic of NASCAR. He didn’t even bring it up — and probably wouldn’t have done so without the Reddit tweet.

He was simply making a point about the conditions in which NASCAR drivers compete and how ridiculous it is that people continue to not think of them as athletes.

The 37-year-old Rochester Hills, Michigan native has been at the forefront of the “drivers are athletes” and the “NASCAR is a sport” discussions for years, so this was nothing unusual.

But Mathieu took it to heart.

He took it as an insult and decided to insult Keselowski with a profanity-laced tweet — which he quickly deleted, as you might have guessed.

“You clearly missed the point of the video,” he wrote in his NSFW post. “But assuming you drive cars at top speed you must think you can (expletive) with me…so what’s up?”

Actually, that’s not an assumption. He does drive cars at top speed. He’s made about $45 million doing it. But I digress.

So what happened with Mathieu and Brady is nothing unusual, from the trash talk itself, to the ensuing tweet, to the fact that Mathieu deleted the tweet, to the fact that the GOAT was discovered to have been “mic’d up”, to the fact that the he didn’t say anything along the lines of what was perceived by fans as having been implied.

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We’ll see if Mathieu handles his recent second place finish as well as Keselowski did after missing out on the 2020 Cup Series championship to Chase Elliott. He’s not off to a great start, but the Chiefs should be back in 2021.