Josh Morgan received death threats after Sunday’s penalty

September 19, 2012

Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan said he received threatening messages on Twitter after committing a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during last Sunday’s loss at St. Louis.

Morgan said Wednesday he has seen the death threats but does not take them seriously or consider himself at risk.

“It’s all over my Twitter,” Morgan said. “They treated me like they did Kyle Williams last year.”


Josh Morgan (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Williams, a wide receiver for the 49ers, received death threats after mishandling two punts during San Francisco’s loss to the New York Giants in last season’s NFC title game.

Morgan said Wednesday he also was fined by the NFL for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. He did not reveal the amount.

Morgan was penalized Sunday for throwing the ball at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan after a play. The 15-yard penalty forced the Redskins to attempt a 62-yard field goal to tie the game. Placekicker Billy Cundiff missed and the Redskins lost, 31-28.

In profanity-laced messages on Twitter, people threatened to kill Morgan, urged him to kill himself and wished harm on his family members. One message expressed the hope that someone would throw a football at Morgan’s first-born child.

“I heard everything, especially when they get you on Twitter and are sending you death threats and wishing you bad things and your first born,” Morgan said. “You see it all. You hear it all. You never let it get to you, especially with me being from D.C.”

Asked whether he took the threats seriously, Morgan said no.

“The only thing I take seriously is football and my family,” Morgan said. “Nothing really scares me.”

Morgan said he did not respond to the messages. His only response, he said, will be his future actions.

Morgan’s penalty came with a little more than a minute remaining in the game.

“I just lost my cool for two seconds,” he said. “It won’t happen again.”

Morgan had spoken last week about not allowing Finnegan to provoke him into penalties. But he said it was the nature of Sunday’s game, not Finnegan in particular, that got to him. Several Redskins players have said since the game they believe that the replacement officials allowed the game to get out of control, with frequent hits and scuffles between players after plays.

“The whole game got to me,” Morgan said Wednesday. “There was a lot of stuff going on in the game…. I just lost my cool for two seconds. We addressed it. We dealt with the situation. We have 14 more games left and we’re going to keep moving.”

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan spoke to Morgan and to the team about the situation, Morgan said. Morgan said he also addressed his teammates.

“He talked to me about it,” Morgan said. “He talked to the whole team. I talked to the team. I addressed the situation with the team, especially my fellow receivers. We’re moving forward. We’re all on the same page with it. Not one person could say they would have done something different. I just had to be the bigger person at that time…. I let the team know where I am, gave them my part of the story and addressed the situation with them. They let me know where they came from.”

Morgan, a Washington native who signed with the Redskins as a free agent in the offseason after playing for the 49ers, said he believes his teammates accepted his explanation.

“I feel like they are,” Morgan said. “One play doesn’t cost you the whole game, regardless of what you think. We’re a team. We all had our part in it. We all had things we could have done much better.”

Morgan said he was able to put the penalty behind him quickly.

“It was very easy to put it behind me,” he said. “I put it behind me as soon as we got on the plane.”

Insider Squared: Redskins should have gone for first down

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · September 19, 2012

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