John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Eric Winston Blasts Chiefs Fans For Cheering About Matt Cassel's Injury

When Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel went down with an apparent head injury in Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, some of the fans in Arrowhead Stadium cheered.

The situation was a little confusing. Many of the fans had been booing Cassel most of the game. They were making it clear that they wanted him on the bench. There were cheers for backup QB Brady Quinn to come into the game.

I wasn’t at Arrowhead but Arrowhead Addict’s co-founder Adam Best, was. He told me moments ago that he didn’t think the crowd was necessarily cheering because Cassel was hurt. He thought that most were just cheering when they saw Brady Quinn coming into the game.

More than likely, there some fans that were glad Cassel was hurt. There were probably some that cheered when just because they were excited to see Quinn. Still others may have been applauding Cassel for getting up and walking off the field, which is customary fan behavior when a player is injured.

But if there was even one person cheering because they were glad Cassel was hurt, then that person was out of line.

After the game, Chiefs RT Eric Winston sat and talked with a bunch of reporters. Winston was furious when he heard some of the fans cheering after Cassel went down. Here is what he had to say:

“We are athletes, OK? We are athletes. We are not gladiators. This is not the Roman Coliseum. People pay their hard-earned money when they come in here and I believe they can boo, they can cheer and they can do whatever they want, I believe that. We are lucky to play this game. People, it’s hard to economic times, and they still pay the money to do this.

“But when somebody gets hurt, there are long lasting ramifications to the game we play, long lasting ramifications to the game we play. I’ve already kinda come to the understanding that I won’t live as long because I play this game and that’s OK, that’s a choice I’ve made and a choice all of us have made.

“But when you cheer, when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel — it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams, I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than in that moment right there.

“I get emotional about it because these guys, they work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people, hasn’t done anything to you people. Hasn’t done anything to the media writers that kill him, hasn’t done anything wrong to the people that come out here and cheer him. Hey, if he’s not the best quarterback then he’s not the best quarterback and that’s OK. But he’s a person. And he got knocked out in a game and we have 70,000 people cheering that he got knocked out?

“Boo him all you want. Boo me all you want. Throw me under the bus. Tell me I’m doing a bad job. Say I gotta protect him more. Do whatever you want. Say whatever you want. But if you are one of those people, one of those people that were out there cheering or even smiled when he got knocked out, I just want to let you know, and I want everybody to know that I think it’s sickening and disgusting. We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Coliseum. This is a game.

“I’ll sit here and I’ll answer all your questions for the next 30 minutes if you want to ask them and I’ll take all the responsibility I can take because I deserve it but don’t blame a guy, and don’t cheer for a guy who has done everything in his power to play as good as he can for the fans.

“It’s sickening. And I was embarrassed. I want every single one of you people to put this on your station and in your newspapers because I want every fan to know that. This is a game that’s going to cost us a lot down the road. That’s OK. We picked it, we deserve it and I don’t want your pity. But we have a lot of problems as a society if people think that’s OK.

“I’ll get off my soap box and you guys can ask any football question you want.”

Thanks to Arrowhead Pride for the transcript of Winston’s comments.

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