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Eric Winston rips Chiefs fans for cheering Matt Cassel injury

Matt Cassel left the game against the Ravens with a head injury. (Dave Kaup/Reuters)

Matt Cassel has been a lightning rod for criticism during Kansas City's disappointing 1-4 start to the season. But Chiefs offensive lineman Eric Winston put his foot down after the home fans cheered Sunday when Cassel suffered an injury in the fourth quarter.

Cassel was hit hard by Baltimore's Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee and stayed down on the field while trainers attended to him. Chiefs fans cheered the development as backup Brady Quinn warmed up.

Winston waited for members of the media to gather by his locker after the game, then told them: "If this isn't posted in the paper or run on your (website), this is the last time you're going to talk to me."

He followed that warning with some stern words for the Kansas City fans. You can read the transcript below, and [si_launchNFLPopup video='23de22dca73a496a9cba9c96ed296470']watch the video here[/si_launchNFLPopup].

"We are athletes. We are not gladiators. This isn’t the Roman Coliseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here. I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want … we’re lucky to play this game. It’s hard economic times, and they still pay the money to go to these.

"There are long-lasting ramifications to the game we play … I’ve come to the understanding I won’t live as long because I play this game. That’s OK.

"But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams, I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football, than at that moment right there.

"But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams, I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football, than at that moment right there.

"I get emotional about it because these guys work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people … hasn’t done anything to the media writers who kill him, hasn’t done anything wrong to the people who come out here and cheer him. If he’s not the best quarterback, he’s not the best quarterback, and that’s OK.

"But he’s a person. And he got knocked out in a game, and we got 70,000 people cheering. Boo him all you want. Boo me all you want. Throw me under the bus. Tell me I’m doing a bad job, say I’ve got to protect him more … but if you’re one of those people who were out there cheering, or even smiled, when he got knocked out, I just want everyone to know it’s sickening and disgusting.

"Don’t blame a guy and don’t cheer for a guy (when injured) who has done everything in his power to play as good as he can for the fans. It’s sickening. I want every fan to know it. We have a lot of problems as a society if people think that’s okay."

Quinn finished out the game for Kansas City, while Cassel headed to the locker room for further evaluation. The Chiefs play at Tampa Bay next week, then have a bye in Week 7. Their next home game will be on Oct. 28 against Oakland.

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