Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was suspended for the season after a hit the NFL deemed dirty during Week 4, unleashed his opinion of the league’s disciplinary system following Myles Garrett‘s indefinite suspension.
“The NFL had to suspend somebody for that last night, since that wasn’t a football act,” Burfict told The Athletic. “My suspension was a football act. I was hitting somebody. I wasn’t taking a helmet off and swinging it at somebody.”
Burfict revealed he was watching Thursday’s game with his four-year-old and two-year-old daughters and turned it off after the incident.
“I don’t want them to see that,” Burfict said. “Because that’s not what I do. That’s not part of football. I hit people on the field during the game. And they say that’s dirty, yeah, whatever. I get hit, too, during the games, so don’t complain. It’s football, bro.”
Burfict was ejected from the Raiders’ Sept. 29 game against the Colts after a hit on tight end Jack Doyle. He was subsequently banned for the rest of the season, with the league citing his history as a repeat offender.
“It was bulls—,” Burfict said of his suspension. “I was making a football play. I could see if it was a fine or something, but not a suspension, let alone for the whole season. It kind of seems like there was a target on my head. I mean, there has always been a target on my head.
“There have been times in games when a ref is cussing at me and wanting me to cuss back at him so he can throw me out of the game. Come on, bro. I don’t want to be out there playing against the refs and the opposing team.”
Burfict claims he didn’t realize he was on his final strike.
“They didn’t, and it really doesn’t matter,” he said. “I see other players make that same kind of play on a daily basis. It was a witch hunt. They were watching everything I do. They watched 171 of my plays this year. Tell me if they watched 171 plays of that linebacker from the Chargers, what’s his name, Thomas Davis? Go witch hunt him.”
Burfict was on a one-year deal with Oakland but wants to play next season. However, his comments about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may present a problem.
“I met Roger Goodell in New York, and he was a total b—-,” Burfict said. “He was a b—-. He didn’t let anybody speak. He rushed us in and out of the meeting. The meeting was bulls—. He already had the suspension in his hand.”
He revealed that she showed clean plays that he had made with dirty plays against him that were not called and he didn’t retaliate to.
“They didn’t give a f— about that s—,” Burfict said.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr defended Burfict, who was one of their captains, during a conference call with the league prior to his suspension. In the end, the decision was made and Burfict won’t play again this season and could be finished in the league for good.