Jermaine Jones has become a polarizing player since joining the New England Revolution.
Widely recognized as one of the team’s most important contributors, opponents have regularly keyed in on the midfielder. The Montreal Impact’s Calum Mallace repeatedly tried to injure Jones’ foot. Meanwhile, the Columbus Crew’s Tony Tchani claimed that he didn’t know who Jones was until the World Cup and insisted that Lee Nguyen was the Revolution’s primary threat.
On Sunday, several New York Red Bulls players took a swipe at Jones after their team was downed 2-1 in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final.
When asked about the officiating, Bradley Wright-Phillips told the New York Post, "I’d love to comment but I don’t want to get a fine. It’s clear for everyone to see. Jermaine Jones reffed the game very well.’’
Dax McCarty sounded off on the matter by posting the following tweet after the game:
Definitely not a red card pic.twitter.com/3LFW25Li4i— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) November 24, 2014
Fans of opposing teams have also used social media to attack Jones, calling him a cheater and a diver, among other things.
In a press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, Jones professed that he has "no idea" why people are targeting him. Regardless of the reason, Jones said that the negative comments don’t bother him.
"In a different way, I love it when people a little bit start to hate me," Jones said. "If it’s outside in stadiums like the people in New York, I can take that."
More important to Jones is the support of his team and its fans, of which he knows he has plenty.
"I know my whole team, the whole club have their trust in me," Jones commented. "What people text about me or say about me, I don’t care so much."
With a MLS Cup appearance in the balance on Saturday, Jones isn’t thinking much about his haters. Instead, the US international is completely focused on getting a positive result.
"I will go out and try everything to bring New England to the finals."