Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland admits he muttered a profanity as he walked away from a fan following an unfriendly conversation at halftime of the team's most recent game.
The fan approached Ireland, complained about the direction of the Dolphins and told the GM he should fire himself. Ireland said Tuesday he regrets what he said in response.
Ireland said the exchange came as he was walking back to his booth after visiting his wife at halftime of Sunday's victory over the Oakland Raiders.
''I did talk to several fans that were very nice,'' Ireland said in a statement. ''But as I'm walking back this person introduced himself to me and made a comment to me.
''It caught me off guard. I just turned and walked away but I did say something I regret. I thought I was saying it to myself under my breath, but I must have said it loud enough that he could hear it.''
Ireland joined the Dolphins in 2008. They've endured three consecutive losing seasons, and this year fans have been upset about the unsuccessful courtships of quarterback Peyton Manning and coach Jeff Fisher, the failed experiment involving receiver Chad Johnson, the trade of cornerback Vontae Davis, a winless preseason and a drubbing at Houston in the opening game.
The Dolphins trailed the Raiders 10-7 at halftime, but after Ireland's exchange with the fans, they rallied for a 35-13 victory. The win was the first for Joe Philbin as a head coach.
Miami plays host to the New York Jets on Sunday.