Matthew Stafford wishes he ‘had a better reaction’ to photographer’s fall at Rams parade

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford at a lectern with the words "World Champions" and the Rams logo
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford speaks at the team’s Super Bowl victory rally Feb. 16 in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A photographer fell from the stage, fracturing her spine.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said he wished he “had a better reaction” to a photographer’s fall from the stage at the team’s Super Bowl victory rally last week.

Stafford addressed the incident, which was caught on video, on Monday’s episode of “The Morning After” podcast hosted by his wife, Kelly Stafford.

“That obviously happened really quickly and suddenly and unexpectedly, and I wish I had a better reaction in the moment,” he said. “I did apologize to her for that.”


In the video shot by Spectrum News 1, Matthew Stafford can be seen quickly turning away after seeing the photographer, Kelly Smiley, fall from the stage as Stafford’s wife steps forward to check on her.

The quarterback was criticized on social media for his reaction to the fall.

“We can’t not talk about what happened,” Kelly Stafford said on the podcast.

Team photographer Kelly Smiley took to social media in the hours after the incident stating that she had undergone X-rays and had fractured her spine.

“I do know that the reaction that the world saw, right in that split second … that’s not what you wish it would have been,” she said.

“We didn’t want to, like, not touch on it like it never happened,” she said. “Hey, that happened. Hey, not a good reaction.”

Smiley announced on social media that she had fractured her spine and broken two of her cameras in the fall. A GoFundMe launched to support her raised nearly $50,000 in less than 24 hours, and the Rams and the Staffords said they would pay her medical expenses.

After racist and homophobic social media posts reportedly from Smiley’s accounts in 2013 and 2014 were spread online late last week, Smiley’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were deleted.