Much-maligned Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel got knocked out of his team’s 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Because he is an awful quarterback and has underperformed ever since arriving in Kansas City, some of the dumber fans in attendance allegedly cheered when he left the field. Now, it’s worth noting – nobody knows how many fans. It could have been one. It could have been five. It could have been 100.


However many it was, though, apparently it was enough to get under right tackle Eric Winston’s skin. Here is what he had to say on the matter afterward (via Arrowhead Pride by way of ESPN):

"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 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."

If you don’t know what to do with those comments – get in line.

On one hand, you definitely feel for the guy. Dumb fans suck. It can’t be easy knowing that there are people out there, in your own home crowd, actually rooting for you to get hurt. On the other hand, you’re a grown man, you get paid millions of dollars to do what you do. Are you really so mentally fragile that you can’t separate the actions of a token few dummies from the rest of humanity?

I once had a guy threaten my life in the comments section for writing a critical article about Allen Iverson. It is what it is. Crazies exist. Dummies exist. Part of being an adult is not letting them get to you, and not defining an entire group of people based on a select few.

(Kudos Arrowhead Pride, ESPN)

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