Eric Winston rips Chiefs fans for cheering Cassel injury


Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel may not be very popular in the stands, but he still has support in the locker room.

Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston took fans to task for cheering when Cassel left the game with a head injury.

The veteran blocker called a group of reporters over, and said the following words, via Arrowhead Pride:

“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.”

No, Eric, that pretty much covers it.

The Chiefs have played poorly. Frankly, they are a disaster. Cassel leads the parade.

But for too many fans, their passion for the team leads them to forget that the laundry they’re cheering for has a human being inside it.

94 responses to “Eric Winston rips Chiefs fans for cheering Cassel injury

  1. Winston is right. I’ve wanted the Chiefs to get rid of Cassel for a while, but cheering when he gets hurt is just classless. He’s a good guy who goes out and does the best he can. Just because his best may not be good enough doesn’t mean he deserves the long-term ramifications of a concussion.

    I hope I speak for the majority of Chiefs fans when I say that I hope Cassel’s injury isn’t too serious and that he recovers quickly.

  2. Eric couldn’t have said it better and I do agree. Iam sure that Matt is giving it his all. He’s just not an elite QB and thats what the fans really want. But Iam never going to boo for an injury. Lord knows this team has a ton of injuries already. On a little different note, did you notice John Harbaugh at the end of the game turning to the Chiefs fans and shaking his fist and giving them the razzberries??? Well he did. He is truly a classless coach just like his brother.

  3. I have been a chiefs fan for my whole 42 years…Winston is right, say what you want about “living and dying” with our team…today the fans who cheered a guy down were as classless as we ever could be. How would you feel if Cassel and Winston came to your place of work and cheered when you were injured and had to get a CT scan or xray? The Hunt family and our GM has under-performed…our QB has too…but today, the biggest losers were those cheering when another human being was knocked out…If you are so connected with the Chiefs that you are hoping someone gets hurt to get a win…then you have bigger issues than reading this…go get help.

  4. I agree to an extent. If a player is dirty or a bad person I’ll cheer or at least smile. If he gets hurt. Cassels neither dirty or bad. Doesn’t deserve that

  5. Good for him, everything he said is true. I am getting more and more tired of the mentality of the NFL fan. I applaud what Eric said, and I also applaud what the NFL is doing to change the game for the better.

  6. Winston is correct. Cassel has underperformed for the Chiefs but nobody should ever doubt his heart. He gives it his all every game. Save your boos for Pioli who has taken a once proud fan base and turned it into a classless angry mob.

  7. Pretty sure they were cheering him leaving the field, not him getting injured. But anyway if it hurts your feelings then give up the money and quit. The fans dont care about you as a person. We’re not your friends, you work for our entertainment.

  8. I was at the game and it was disheartening to hear “some” of the fans cheer when Cassel went down, but many, many more fans cheered Cassel as he was escorted off the field.

  9. About time someone tried to put things into perspective. Of course, the “fans” will be all over him next game

  10. The only part of his statement I would take exception to, is that ALL 70,000 people were cheering Cassel’s injury. I’m sure there were some fans that showed class and restraint. Other than that, he has right on message.

  11. Some of these football players should try working a real job before they rip on the fans. Fans that pay their salary can boo or cheer whoever they like. And the players should just deal with it and the reporters should just be thankful they don’t have to do anything meaningful with their lives.

  12. Not a chiefs fan to say the least but his comments are 100% accurate and very well said. Chiefs fans should be ashamed. If you hate the QB that much, boo at the GM but don’t cheer when a man gets hurt. Save that for the Philadelphia fans.

  13. When NFL fans act like fanatics no longer displaying humanity, their children just may be watching and learning. The kind of kids who may end up participating in one of those very-common online videos showing the laughing kids brutally beating up another helpless kid for sport…….Good words Eric Winston

  14. A lot of fans are idiots. Then you add beer and this is what you get. From North Jersey to Southern California there is a breed of fan who thinks that they can say and do whatever they want.

  15. Agree with Eric Winston, but the following sentence really stood out:

    “Hey, if he’s not the best quarterback then he’s not the best quarterback and that’s OK.”

    So, we know what he thinks of the guy standing behind him. I don’t think the fault lies squarely on Cassel. I think his coaches leave much to be desired.

  16. I’m a Chiefs STH for may years. I’m tired of seeing Cassel stink it up on the field. Seven turnovers by him in the last two weeks. Get rid of the bum!

  17. Good job, Mr Winston. Not a fan of the Chiefs, but I will make sure that everyone I know hears about your speech. Outstanding!

  18. Typical Chiefs fans. Stay classy! *quietly destroys footage of Raiders fans cheering Pastorini’s broken leg*

  19. I must say I liked Winston’s Hyman Roth-esque “this is the business we have chosen” attitude. Now maybe we can stop trying to save grown men from themselves?

  20. The Chiefs front office, including the owner, GM, and head coach forced people to cheer when Cassel got hurt. It was the only way to get the word out to these guys that we do not approve of him being the starting QB. We are the most loyal fans in football, and our front office is the most stubborn in football. It really didn’t have to turn out this way, Cassel shouldn’t have been in the game in the first place.

  21. Shameless behavior by some “fans”. And as a fan of your rival team, I’ve seen a lot of it too over the years.

    It is a game and the players are real people. They have families and lives.

  22. To all the Chefs fans who were cheering for your player getting hurt: Your team has always been irrelevant. Put Tom Brady under center for the Chiefs right now and you still have no chance at a Superbowl. With fans like you, Kansas City doesn’t deserve to have a good team. Matter of fact, you deserve to lose your team to LA. I doubt many of the players enjoy living in KC, anyways. They would probably prefer to move.

  23. What happened was clearly just the frustration boiling over of the people who pay their hard earned money to go to the games. You come out with a gameplan straight from 1932 to try and take the game out of Cassel’s hands as much as humanly possible, yet he still manages to turn the ball over 4 times.

    The organization (Pioli) is clearly too stupid or stubborn (or both) to pull the guy even though he clearly doesn’t belong on an NFL field, so him getting injured was obviously the only way it was going to happen, and maybe people let their emotions get the best of them.

    It doesn’t make it OK, but maybe the organization should look at themselves and realize there is a very serious problem when your fans have nothing to cheer except an injury to one of it’s own players.

  24. @matthewcarlson1… you have issues. Serious issues. These players are human beings. Playing football is just their job. Off the field they are husbands, fathers, and sons. When they get hurt on the field, they hurt off the field as well. You obviously need to get a life if you really feel like all that matters is your entertainment. I hope you haven’t reproduced, because the world doesn’t need anymore people like you.

  25. redguy12588 says:
    Oct 7, 2012 6:17 PM
    Some of these football players should try working a real job before they rip on the fans. Fans that pay their salary can boo or cheer whoever they like. And the players should just deal with it and the reporters should just be thankful they don’t have to do anything meaningful with their lives.

    Have another beer, moron…

  26. I was at the game and I did not hear people cheering him being hurt. I did hear people cheering when he got up and when Quinn went in. I say shame on Winston for reporting incorrectly and shame on NBC for perpetuating it.

  27. Anybody who has a problem with what he said has a problem. Maybe I am just starting to understand what all the old timers have been saying for years that our society is heading is heading in the wrong direction. Good for Eric Winston to have the nuts to say something!

  28. Well said Eric.

    It’s a game, people. When you bought those season tickets, you bought a seat at Arrowhead and possibly a parking pass. Your purchase did not come with any promises that the team was going to win a single game. You bought in on faith. If you’re not happy about how your investment is going right now, the person you should be angry with is in the mirror.

    The team wants to win, you want the team to win. But they owe you nothing…get over yourself.

  29. No one was cheering Cassel’s injury. We were all just glad the 63 million dollar 5 year experiment was over. Orton showed he was better than Cassel but Pioli didn’t want to be wrong. He still doesn’t…

    We were all cheering the football “Gods” showed up and tried to show Pioli that he’s not above common sense. Then the refs screwed us and called back an obvious fumble by Flacco. But it’s KC, that play won’t get any publicity. He’s falling forward, far from down, and KC would’ve had the TD, up 10-9… Shh, don’t talk about that call…

  30. “Some of these football players should try working a real job before they rip on the fans. Fans that pay their salary can boo or cheer whoever they like. And the players should just deal with it and the reporters should just be thankful they don’t have to do anything meaningful with their lives.”


    I am one who does work a real job. The above quote is idiotic.

  31. The kind of person who would cheer for someone getting hurt is a severely maladjusted person that I don’t want to associate with.

    Good on Winston for manning up to his responsibility and sticking up for his QB. I would take a whole team full of guys with this attitude.

  32. He’s right, but it’s not just Chiefs fans. We’ve heard it in every stadium with struggling teams when their scapegoats go down. The real issue is the embarrassing level to which Americans in general have their priorities so far out of whack when it comes to pro sports.

  33. Eric Winston you are right. The Chief fans have been booing Cassell for a while now with no result. I think they were just cheering for a change……I am sorry, not even I can spin this for the Chief fans. That was bush league. It is one thing to boo the man, but not when he is hurt.

  34. Wow to the people that said they can do whatever they want and that the fans don’t care about the players as people? I hope a retarded teenager decides to jack a short bus go on a joy ride and plows you and your family over. Because I’m not your friend and don’t care about you as a person. Ignoramus .

  35. What do you expect from a fanbase that regularly disrespects our national anthem by replacing home of the brave, with home of the Chiefs?

  36. Should have signed with Miami Winston, you would’nt be dealing with this.
    Anyhoo, good job speaking up for your QB.

  37. If Cassel retired right now, he could live a nice long, healthy life, and bank the bulk of a $63 million contract. Announce your retirement already!!! Get well soon.

  38. the only thing funny about this is when the houston texans let winston go due to salary cap issues, his wife left an insane message rippin the organization and talking about the fans here are terrible and how her husband is going to a team with real fans and the best football country in the country. hows that going mrs. winston..??? #BULLSONPARADE

  39. Hey jbaxt, Orton is better than Cassel??? I hope other fans in KC know better… Kyle Orton is nothing more than a backup, as a Bears fan I should know. If you don’t believe me ask folks in Denver about how great Orton is. Cassel may not be a pro bowler but he’s no worse than Kyle.

    Booing an injured player… Come on KC y’all are better than that aren’t you?

  40. I think Eric misunderstood the cheering. Chiefs fans have watched Matt Cassel for quite awhile, and I think they were cheering the prospect of getting to watch passes hit downfield receivers in stride more than they were cheering because Cassel got injured. Chiefs fans understand that Scott Pioli’s ego and insecurity won’t allow him to admit he made a tremendous mistake in terms of thinking Matt Cassel was anything more than a serviceable backup QB, and they knew that the only way they’d see anything resembling an NFL passing game would be if Cassel got hurt. So they were cheering being able to watch a pro passing game, not cheering because Cassel got hurt.

  41. And for what it’s worth, Orton is an average QB on a good day, but he’s light years ahead of Matt Cassel. If you think differently, then you haven’t watched Cassel play for the last 2 years.

  42. I don’t think the fans were cheering Matt Cassel getting hurt so much, I think it was the frustration of watching a really talented team implode before your eyes every week and a front office and coaching staff despite glaring continual problems,manage to keep the same personnel on the field instead of stepping forward and making the necessary changes to help the team compete at as high level. This should send a loud and clear message to the ownership of the chiefs organization and all parties involved.

  43. tommynatorii says:
    Oct 7, 2012 8:02 PM

    Should have signed with Miami Winston, you would’nt be dealing with this.
    Anyhoo, good job speaking up for your QB.


    Correct! ..Cause no one goes to your games you imbecile!

  44. We were not cheering because he got hurt, but because of the possible change. Everyone applauded him when he got up and walked off the field. What Winston should be embarrased about is his play on the field that has gotten Cassel killed a few times. They would not pull Cassel no matter how bad he plays so Pioli could save face. We need a change (not this way) but it seems this is the only way it was coming. Hell they hurt Cassel worse by making him hand the ball off 40 times and not letting him throw, basically saying we don’t trust you.

  45. I remember the Chief fans being head as the best fans anywhere. Fans are all the same everywhere.

    The Giant fans boo’d there Super Bowl a championship team today.

    Well, maybe the Philly fans can be considered the worst of the bunch. I mean, come on! Who boos Santa?

  46. 2ndaryinsanity says:
    Oct 7, 2012 7:24 PM
    @matthewcarlson1… you have issues. Serious issues. These players are human beings. Playing football is just their job. Off the field they are husbands, fathers, and sons. When they get hurt on the field, they hurt off the field as well. You obviously need to get a life if you really feel like all that matters is your entertainment. I hope you haven’t reproduced, because the world doesn’t need anymore people like you.
    What are you talking about? That’s a bit dramatic. I Hope you don’t fall off your horse, its a looong way down.

  47. How long does one have to go before change? It seems like here in K.C. It might be 7,10,15 maybe even 20 years. Cassel is horrible no dought, but so is upper management. When is it going to stop?? And yes it is 150% changing the fans, I mean come on how many teams have a plane flying over the stadium screaming to fire Pioli and Cassel?

    Bottom line today Eric had no right to speak for the team in that fashion, period. And the other problem is there is so much hatred with teams performance and the staff that the cheers for Cassel getting up or heading off the field was over shadowed. Not to mention the cheers for Quinn going in all in the same 5 min. K.C. has lots of issues for sure and I can only hope someone opens there eyes to get something done. On another note Jamal was outstanding, and only hope they take some weight off his shoulders before he gets hurt.

  48. I love my Chiefs. I always have and I always will. As much as I believe this year more than ever that Matt isn’t the one who will lead this team where I would love to see them go i will support whoever takes the snaps on Sunday. He is a mortal human being who gives his all week in and week out. Even though I share the frustrations of my fellow fans I will never applaud an injury, even that of a Raider. Grow up people. I have always held my head high on Sunday no matter the score of a Chiefs game…not today. Thank you Mr. Winston. I applaud you sir.

  49. 2ndaryinsanity, I totally agree with you on this. that ignoramus should never produce a child. I was going to rip the d-bag myself but you beat me to it. thank you for that. I really enjoyed reading that.

  50. I am a newfound Winston fan and plan to send the link to this story to every Chefs fan out there. I believe those that cheered are not truly representative of the good fans they have in KC given I have tailgated with many who were very friendly, savvy and certainly not of the injury cheering ilk, regardless of if was a teammate or someone from the other side. For example, they applauded when both Ben and Batch got hurt a few years back when the Chefs pulled out an unexpected OT win against my Stillers and were razing but not obnoxious when we got to the parking lot.

    I know it is depressing but you cheer for your team the right way. Hopefully, the good fans will police the bad.

  51. dallascowboysdishingthereal
    “Actually Eric you are modern day Gladiators in the Coliseum. You didn’t know?”

    Well, someone bought into the sabol films narrative a bit too much. Just like the Roman empire and its gladiators, one day this game shall cease or fall one brick at a time.

  52. I was there, it did not happen that way. Fans cheered as he got to his feet. Winston just made a huge mistake.

  53. Eric must have went to a politically correct liberal democrat training session (aka a public school). I bet he thinks everyone gets a trophy.

    How about he actually blocks so his man doesn’t crush the QB!!!!

  54. On second thought….maybe it WOULD be better if they just didn’t keep score during the Chiefs games.

  55. @matthewcarlson1…I was a bit dramatic? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. You are the one de-humanizing NFL players. You are the one who cares more about being entertained than the health and well-being of players. Someone needed to call you on it. And I am more than happy to do so. Think I’m going to enjoy a nice horseback ride at the beach today. Seriously, because I do happen to own a beautiful quarter horse.

  56. Blaming classless behavior on the owner or GM is chicken-poop. Frustration is not an excuse to boo an injured player. Here are a few ideas of ways to express your frustration that don’t include acting like an insensitive moron:
    #1 wear paper bags over your head at the games
    #2 hold up signs at the games (if you are creative without any profanity, there’s a decent chance the network will show it)
    #3 have a bonfire with all of your friends using Chiefs jersey’s/hats/etc and post it on you tube.
    #4 don’t buy tickets or team merchandise
    #5 send repeated emails to the team’s front office
    #6 start a facebook page for disgruntled fans
    See, there are a lot better ways for you to send a message to the owner/GM/head coach about what a s#%$$* job they are doing.

  57. Maybe Kansas City is the new Philadelphia??? Fans in KC were criticized for their behavior at the MLB All Star game. I think they were hard on Cassell and Bill Self at the celebrity softball game. They were brutal with Robinson Cano at the Home Run Derby.

  58. Eric is 100% right. The Chiefs fans that cheered are classless. I get it that it wasn’t all 70k fans. Just like all Philly fans get a bad rep for a few thousand morons. Than again I am not an Eagles fan either thankfully. But they get the worst rep.

  59. We should never cheer an injury.

    However, Winston needs to shut up and worry about why the Chiefs offense is a total joke.

    Winston was advertised as a leader. Maybe hold Cassel accountable for record setting turnovers? Maybe meet with Crennel and encourage him to give Quinn a chance?

    I dont have all the answers, but the Chiefs offense aside of Jamaal Charles is bad in ways the NFL has not witnessed before. Its Pathetic.

  60. No class Chief fans. Good for you Eric. I hope you and the Chiefs can pulll together over this. It’s sad you own fans are turning against you.

  61. A fish rots from the head on down. Scott “I believe my New England press clippings” Pioli is the head of the fish. The rot extends down to Romeo “I believe my New England press clippings” Crennel, to the point where he and Pioli have dug in their heels and refuse to try anything other than Matt “I had one good year in New England” Cassel.

    Now don’t get me wrong. Anyone who cheered Cassel’s injury itself is a pig. I think the cheering wasn’t directed at the injury, but at the consequence, that there was finally a change at QB (even if it was to another bust, Golden Domer Brady Quinn). Some of the cheering may even have been that Cassel didn’t appear to be seriously hurt, but just enough to get him out of the game.

    Of course, I could be misreading the whole thing. Again, if they were cheering the injury itself, shame on them.

    But I do understand the frustration of Chiefs’ fans and see how it can boil over. All the different regimes, with the same results. All the hype that surrounded the Pioli hiring, how he was going to bring the New England way of doing things to Kansas City, and all the fans have seen is New England retreads and the same old losing ways.

    Finally, to Mr. Winston–Even if you were misreading the cheers, kudos to you for standing up for your supposed field leader.

  62. Eric Winston spoke eloquently for all real fans of any sport…..anybody that ever “put one on and walked across the lines” would agree with him. It’s one thing to boo and bitch because these guys can’t do well enough in our minds what we couldn’t do , but cheering someone who gets hurt is unconscionable.

  63. It’s classless to boo an injured player. And it’s a sign of the times. There’s a general lack of civility that’s far worse than even a few years back. And the teams haven’t helped things by constantly raising ticket prices to the degree it’s now a major financial undertaking to attend a game. You end up with less “regular” fans and more whackos who have no sense of perspective and care WAY too much about the outcome and people doing the math on the entertainment value, trying to decide if the game fell short of the concert they were considering attending instead.

  64. Lions fan here. I just watched the play, and I’m not at all convinced that they were cheering because Cassel got injured. The Chiefs got a big first down, and it didn’t even seem like the fans noticed Cassel was injured.

  65. If you are a Chiefs/sports fan and you TRULY cheered the fact that another human being was injured then shame on you. However, a couple of points to keep in mind 1) Jamal Charles had a 15 yard catch and run that resulted in a first down on the very same play of Cassel’s injury. Could it be that many were cheering the play and not the injury? If you go back and watch and LISTEN to the play (Google “Cassel injury play” and you can watch and listen to the play) one cannot say that there is a clear up tick in cheering once the stadium realizes that Cassel was hurt. It’s one continuous cheer that fades. 2) Many did cheer the fact the Quinn was coming in to the game, however, that does not mean that these folks were cheering the fact that Cassel was injured. I doubt very many fans entered Arrowhead HOPING that someone would be injured. It is clear that the Chiefs and Cassel have been struggling and in my opinion it was time to bench Cassel, but I would never advocate that change be precipitated due to an injury. Regarding the lack of class of KC fans, did it make the national news shows/talking heads circuit when the “classless” KC fans gave Miguel Cabrera a standing ovation for his winning Major League baseballs’ Triple Crown? A player that is not even a member of the home team? I don’t remember anyone mentioning that classy move. Again, if people truly cheered Cassel’s injury, shame. But to paint all fans with such a wide brush, as some have done (including Eric Winston, Chiefs right tackle who said that all 70,000 people cheered for Cassel’s injury, as well as many ESPN commentators etc.) is inaccurate and misleading. The whole of the Chiefs fan base is not the culprit here. As usual a few have tainted the reputation of the many.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.