Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan said he received threatening messages on Twitter after committing a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at a crucial moment in 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.
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.”
He added: “They treated me like they did Kyle Williams last year.”
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. A person familiar with the situation confirmed the fine. The amount of the penalty was not immediately clear, but the person said a typical fine for that infraction is $7,875.
Morgan was penalized Sunday for throwing the ball at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan after picking up seven yards with just 1 minute 13 seconds left in the game. The 15-yard penalty forced the Redskins to attempt a 62-yard field goal to tie the game. Place kicker Billy Cundiff missed and the Redskins lost, 31-28.
Coach Mike Shanahan said teamstaff will look at the threats. “We have security that takes care of those issues,” Shanahan said.
Asked whether he took the threats seriously, Morgan said he did not.
“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 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 that replacement officials allowed the game to get out of control. There were 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.”
Shanahan spoke to Morgan and the team about the situation, Morgan said. Morgan was not disciplined for the incident, and said he also addressed his teammates.
“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,” he said.
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.”
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