‘We’ve got feelings too’: Fajardo returns to winning ways despite ‘disgusting things’ said on social media

Photo courtesy: CFL

Viewing social media has given Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo a rough ride of his own lately.

Following the Riders’ 30-16 win over the Toronto Argonauts Friday night, Fajardo admitted the naysayers coming out of the weeds over the past two weeks were getting to him, even creating self-doubt following back-to-back losses to Winnipeg in the Labour Day Classic and the Banjo Bowl.

“For me, it’s been a tough two weeks. I was down in the dumps pretty bad,” Fajardo told Global TV Regina’s Ian Duffy on a postgame Zoom call.

Social media was quickly becoming a toxic place for the popular signal caller.

“It’s just a tough place to be when I’m trying to be positive,” he acknowledged.

“It’s really hard. Social media doesn’t help when people are counting you out and saying some nasty things. Not only some of our fans but also Winnipeg fans, right?”

“It just takes a toll on your body. Mentally as well. I didn’t even go on social media that much. And that’s the sad truth about professional sports and I know everybody deals with it.”

It might be the first time fans have seen the usually joyful Fajardo express the dark side of being the face of the CFL’s signature brand.

“A lot of times I think us as players, people look at us more as like entertainment than as human beings. And so, there’s some things that you read on social media and it really hurts and it affects you mentally. And for me it was tough. Like I said, going on there and seeing people bash my name or say disgusting things really hurts me,” he said.

“To pull yourself out of it, you just have to have a game where you go back and tell yourself you’re confident. The best thing about my life currently and what is a huge blessing for me is my support system that I have in my loving wife and amazing family that just continue to say great things. I know they always have watch parties for our games. Those are the things that pull us through these tough times when you are playing bad. And it’s going to happen, I get it. But we’ve got feelings, too.”

Fajardo sounds like a guy who takes the online commentary to heart, the good and the bad.

“I know I’ve got the weight of the world and I want to do this province proud in every way I can. And hopefully we can win more football games so I could make everybody happy. If I could do that, that would be my main goal.”

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.