Incensed by the controversial call on the final play of their loss to the Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots players have filed a grievance with the players union in an effort to regain a level of “respect” they are used to from NFL referees.
Matt Slater, the team’s representative with the union, released the following statement earlier today:
Our entire roster is appalled at the events that occurred at the end Monday night’s contest in Carolina. Going all the way back to the Tuck Rule and Spygate, we have grown accustomed to rules being enforced and created in a manner which benefits us weekly. Without these advantages, we would be nothing more than the Buffalo Bills and, honestly, who wants to be the Buffalo Bills?
This Patriots Way is not only about the wins on the field but everything that it translates to off of it: money, women, a blind eye turned by the law. It’s so bad now that our players can’t even maneuver their way out of a simple murder rap.
Furthermore, these entitlements are one of the bigger reasons the free agents want to come play their home games in Foxboro. How are we supposed to explain this to all of our young receivers like Danny Amendola and…well, I don’t know the names of the rest of our receivers, but how do we explain this to them?
Talk amongst players around the league seem to reinforce that belief amongst potential free agents. Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, one of 2014’s top potential free agents, spoke to reporters recently about his future: “The Patriots had been at the top of my list of places to play next season, but after what happened Monday night, they’re barely a consideration. My top choice now has to be the New Orleans Saints. After the call they got late against the 49ers, they’re obviously the new Patriots.”