“I was accused of spitting on a player and I take a lot of pride in my character and how I was raised, and the things I do day in and day out,” Yanda said. “I would never, ever spit on another man, another person, individual, ever. On the field, off the field, never. That’s not the way I was raised, that’s not the way I raise my kids. The video shows — some people are taking it crazy, but all I was doing was wiping spit off my helmet, away from the ground. I swiped at it to make sure it didn’t land on anybody. I don’t know if you guys know, but during the course of a game I’m a heavy spitter. The adrenaline is fired up and I’m spitting all the time. Sidelines, on the field. Obviously, not on anyone ever. But it’s just unfortunate that got twisted and my integrity, my character is being called into question. Because that does really matter to me. It’s really unfortunate but that went down. I just want to put that out there, that would never be anything that would ever even be fathomed in my mind. That’s just not the player I am.”
Burfict was lying on the ground and Yanda was standing above him as Yanda produced a loogie that dropped down into the general direction of Burfict’s face. It was impossible to see on televised replays whether any spit actually landed on Burfict, and Burfict’s lack of reaction suggests he wasn’t actually hit with spit.
But Burfict did take to Twitter this week to address the situation, saying, “I’m happy y’all starting to see the whole picture” and suggesting that if he had retaliated the NFL would have been glad because that would have given the league the ability to impose discipline on him.
“NFL mad I didn’t retaliate,” Burfict wrote.
Yanda has a reputation as a man of good character and Burfict, well, does not. So many observers will be predisposed to believe Yanda is telling the truth, even if Burfict doesn’t accept his explanation.