Vontaze Burfict Says Refs Are Trying to Provoke Him After 1st Career Ejection

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis talks with outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) after Burfict was ejected for making contact with an official in the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict said Friday he believes NFL officials are intentionally trying to draw a reaction from him during games. 

Laurel Pfahler of ESPN.com passed along comments from Burfict, who was ejected from the team's road clash with the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium last Sunday for making contact with an official.

"The refs, they come up to me, talking to me disrespectfully, wanting me to curse back at them, but me cursing back at them isn't going to help me," he said. "I'm not going to get a flag in my favor next time around, but that's the way they handle business, I guess. I told Coach I'm just going to try to stay out of the refs' way."

The 27-year-old defender, who owns an extensive history of suspensions and fines for on-field conduct related to player safety, added he was "raised to defend myself always" and doesn't think it's fair officials can make repeated contact with him after a play:

"I still think they shouldn't be allowed to touch us if we can't even touch them, not even in a physical way. The thing about it is the game of football is physical, and in the heat of the moment, when a guy is talking s--- to you and you are getting pushed after the play and the ref comes up and puts his arm on you like you are the one that started something or pushed somebody first, every time that happens it kind of gets old. You know you're not the one that started it and the ref comes up to you, it gets old."

Burfict exited the Bengals' 24-20 loss to the Titans after making contact with down judge Jeff Bergman, which resulted in his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the contest and an automatic ejection.

"He has to understand," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters. "I've pointed it out. In those situations, everybody's over there, and you just can't push back. Sometimes, which happens, you push back and it's the official, you can't do that. He knows better. We pay a price. We pay a price because he hurts us when it's on the field that way and then he's not on the field. So, both ways."

The NFL has yet to announce any further discipline for the linebacker as a result of the incident.

Cincinnati is set to play its third consecutive game away from home Sunday when it travels to face the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Related

    Dalton Ranked Below League Average in Completion Pct.

    Cincinnati Bengals logo
    Cincinnati Bengals

    Dalton Ranked Below League Average in Completion Pct.

    Chris Roling
    via Bengals Wire

    Brady (Hand) Held Out of Practice Again

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Brady (Hand) Held Out of Practice Again

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    Randy Fichtner Named Steelers OC, QB Coach

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Randy Fichtner Named Steelers OC, QB Coach

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Slot WR Rankings: LaFell a Solid but Limited Player

    Cincinnati Bengals logo
    Cincinnati Bengals

    Slot WR Rankings: LaFell a Solid but Limited Player

    NFL1000 Scouts
    via Bleacher Report