Bengals linebacker Burfict believes refs target him unfairly

Vontaze Burfict just wants to stay out of the officials’ way.

The Cincinnati Bengals linebacker was ejected Sunday for making contact with an official in a 24-20 loss to Tennessee, and in his first comments since then, Burfict expressed frustration with how refs are treating him — in many cases trying to provoke him.

The ejection happened after Burfict made contact with down judge Jeff Bergman after the official put his arm up to stop a back-and-forth with a Titans offensive lineman, one play before DeMarco Murray scored to put Tennessee up 14-6 in the second quarter. Burfict said he was just trying to move the official’s arm off him.

»WATCH: Video of the play in question

“I knew I didn’t do anything bad,” Burfict said Friday. “Obviously, you are not supposed to touch the officials, but I didn’t think I touched him maliciously at all. I pretty much said excuse me.’But yeah, 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. 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.”

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Burfict said Bergman cursed at him while telling him he was out of the game and it is not uncommon for an official to do so.

He believes he is targeted unfairly.

“I don’t have crazy flags this year,” Burfict said. “… The refs aren’t calling flags on me, it’s more waiting for me to do something and they see what happened first but they are waiting for me to react rather than throwing something when they see a guy push me or do something that’s not within the rules.”

Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Monday he has repeatedly told Burfict that he will be “held to a different set of standards” because of his past discrepancies.

The sixth-year linebacker already was not suspended this time but missed the first three games of this season and last because of behavior on and off the field. He has been disciplined by the league 11 times by fine or suspension.

“My thing is if they are watching out for me, they should always see what the person does first,” Burfict said. “Like in the Tennessee game, one of the O-linemen had me in between their legs like squeezing me. If they are obviously watching me like they say they are, they should see what the O-lineman or somebody else does to me to get me to react. That’s the only thing that makes me mad because obviously if they are watching me, they should watch what the first person does.”

Burfict believes he should have been allowed to move Bergman’s arm off him.

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“I still think they shouldn’t be allowed to touch us if we can’t even touch them, not even in a physical way,” Burfict said. “… In the heat of the moment when someone is touching you, you’re going to obviously get their hands off you as well. That’s how I was raised. I was raised to defend myself always.”

Though Burfict said “it gets old” always being the one called for things, he is trying not to let it get to him.

“I’m focused on Denver,” he said. “I’m not worried about what happened last week. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be kicked out. It was a bummer I wasn’t out there to help my team, but I’m done though.”

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