KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Members of the Kansas City Chiefs angrily spoke out Sunday against thousands of fans who cheered when quarterback Matt Cassel left a 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a head injury.
Cassel has been the focus of frustrated fans for the past couple years, many of them booing him when he appeared during a celebrity softball game this summer. Some had even hired an airplane to fly over Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday with a banner asking for him to be benched.
The angst reached a tipping point when Cassel, who committed four turnovers against Baltimore, was hammered by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata while completing a pass in the fourth quarter.
Cassel remained on his back for several minutes while fans began to cheer. He eventually got to his feet with some help and walked off the field under his own power.
"It's 100-percent sickening," Chiefs tackle Eric Winston said. "I've never, ever — and I've been in some rough times on some rough teams — I've never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than at 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.
"Hey, if he's not the best quarterback, he's not the best quarterback, and that's OK, but he's a person," Winston continued, the big offensive lineman's voice slowly rising. "And he got knocked out in a game and we've got 70,000 people cheering that he got knocked out."
The Chiefs have only said that Cassel has a "head injury," and coach Romeo Crennel said he wasn't sure whether he'd been taken to a hospital. Brady Quinn finished the game.