Whitworth: I'm sickened'
By GEOFF HOBSON
November 7, 2008
Updated 4:55 p.m.
The agent for Andrew Whitworth plans to appeal the $10,000 fine the NFL levied Friday for fighting and his client said he was "embarrassed," for the NFL after it gave Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson the same penalty.
Henderson also got a $10,000 fine and no suspension even though TV replays and witnesses recorded Henderson trying to gouge Whitworth's eyes after he tore off his helmet during Sunday's 21-19 win over Jacksonville at Paul Brown Stadium. Several other Bengals were also apparently fined for being near the fight.
"I'm embarrassed for the league that I play in that they could come to that decision after that guy physically attacked me," Whitworth said from Louisiana, where he is spending the Bengals' bye week. "For them to give us the same penalty is absolutely unbelievable. The guy had two infractions on the play and that's not even counting the play before when he threw a punch at me. I felt like the NFL turned their back on me today."
Both were ejected after the play late in the third quarter. Whitworth was tossed for fighting when he threw some punches to get away from Henderson's hold on his head. Whitworth said throwing the punches was the only way he could protect his eyes from Henderson's attack.
"What I don't understand is I represent the league the way they want players to represent the league," Whitworth said. "I'm in the community every Tuesday. I'm never late for meetings and for practices and I do what my coaches tell me. And here I can't even get any protection on the field from the league when a guy violently attacks me? I'm sickened."
"There were guys on their team that texted me after the game that said they were sorry and he was wrong," Whitworth said. "I didn't hear their head coach defend him. I didn't his owners defend him."
Agent Steve Colson said that Bengals ownership as well as head coach Marvin Lewis spoke to the league in Whitworth's defense.
"I don't know who is watching tape in the NFL office, but if they're trying to send a message, they're sending it to the wrong kid," Colson said. "I'm appalled. It's horrible."
Whitworth said his teammates were just trying to protect him.
"They didn't want to get in a fight. That wasn't their intent," Whitworth said. "But when they saw what the guy was doing to me, they were trying to help me get out of there."