Andrew Whitworth, the Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle, has let it rip against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, blaming authorities for the scuffle that occurred before Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh Steelers. (watch video above).
Tensions have been escalating between Bengals and Steelers ever since the teams last met early in November. After that game, Steelers linebacker Vince Williams sent a series of threatening tweets to Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Needless to say, those tweets were promptly deleted. According to Whitworth, NFL’s lack of action in disciplining Williams was the primary reason for Sunday’s fight.
“I’ll get in trouble for this, but this (fight) is the NFL’s fault,” Whitworth was quoted as saying by ESPN. “The bottom line is … I love the Pittsburgh Steelers, I love Mike Tomlin, but they had a player that made a death threat to one of ours after the last game about spilling his blood in the streets, and everyone saw it, and the NFL did nothing about it,” added Whitworth after his team’s 33-20 loss on Sunday.
Whitworth added that the animosity surrounding the game could have been avoided. “And so they (NFL) allowed there to be that kind of animosity and that kind of thing around.”
The incident occurred when Burfict and Williams engaged in an argument followed by a physical brawl at midfield, close to 30 minutes before the AFC North showdown at Paul Brown Stadium. Luckily, the skirmish didn’t last long, and it didn’t appear any punches were thrown.
James Harrison and Adam Jones served as mediators, stopping the fight before it got out of control. In fact, Jones missed the game with a foot injury and caught the incident before his teammates since he was standing at midfield during the warm-up period.
Whitworth didn’t hold back from slamming Roger Goodell. “But when you (NFL) allow guys to talk about barbaric things off the football field, and in this day and age of our country? And you allow guys to talk about things like that, it’s on Roger Goodell and the NFL. They should have done something. They should have stepped up. They should have made sure that players know that kind of attitude and that kind of character is not involved in the league. That’s their fault. It’s on their head.”
Will Andrew Whitworth be fined for his comments? Going by NFL’s history when it comes to handling such situations, it’s a possibility.