NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is “incredibly proud” of game officials after a penalty call led Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to get extremely upset after his team’s loss on Sunday, December 10.
“That’s their job: to call when there’s a foul. There was no question about that foul. It was absolutely the right call,” Goodell, 64, said during a Wednesday, December 13, news conference at the league’s winter meetings, per to Yahoo Sports. “If you don’t call that, obviously, we would have been subject — our officials would have been subject — to criticism also.”
While Goodell acknowledged that “no human being” is “perfect,” he fully stood by the controversial pre-snap penalty.
“I find it ironic that I’m standing here answering a question about when the officials got it right, and they’re being criticized,” he continued, adding that “everybody” in the sports community “is acknowledging the officials were absolutely correct.”
Referees reversed the Chiefs’ touchdown in the last two minutes of their game against the Buffalo Bills after determining wide receiver Kadarius Toney was offsides after a lateral pass by tight end Travis Kelce. The result led the Chiefs to lose with a final score of 20 to 17, marking their second loss in two weeks.
Mahomes, 28, took the call particularly hard and could be seen yelling about the decision on the field. After the game, the athlete was caught on camera telling Bills quarterback Josh Allen, “Wildest f–king call I’ve ever seen. Offensive offsides on that play, man, f–king terrible.”
One day after the game, Mahomes apologized for his hot-headed behavior during an interview with Kansas City’s 610 Sports Radio.
“I regret acting like that, but more than anything, I regretted the way I acted towards Josh after the game, because he had nothing to do with it,” Mahomes said. “I was still hot and emotional, but you can’t do that, man. It’s not a great example for kids watching the game, so I was more upset about that than I was about me on the sidelines.”
While the Texas native acknowledged that “stuff like that happens” in the NFL, he assured his response came from a place of deep caring.
“I love it. I love this game, I love my teammates, I want to go out there and put everything on the line to win,” he continued. “But obviously, can’t do that. Can’t be that way toward officials or really anybody in life.”
There don’t seem to be any hard feelings between the quarterbacks. Allen reacted to the encounter with Mahomes after practice on Wednesday.
“I was just like, ‘It’s football, it’s a game of emotion,’” Allen said, per Sports Illustrated. “I know he didn’t mean anything by it, and I know the cameras kind of caught the last few seconds of what we were talking about. But he’s an ultimate competitor. He wants to win and that’s why he is who he is.”