Winston gave a heartfelt rant to media, addressing those who cheered when Cassel was knocked out by a Baltimore Ravens defender as they blamed their playmaker for the poor start to the NFL match they eventually lost 9-6 on Sunday.

Number seven Cassel was concussed by the hit in the fourth quarter.

‘We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Colosseum,’ he told reporters outside the dressing room.

‘People pay their money, hard earned money, and I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want.

‘We are lucky to play this game, the game.’

He paid tribute to the power of football, that seats are still filled every week despite ‘hard economic times’ and noted the risks footballers take to play in the NFL.

‘When somebody gets hurt, there are long lasting ramifications… I’ve come to the realisation that I won’t live as long because I play this game, that’s a choice I’ve made.

‘But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is – it just happened to be Matt Cassel – it’s 100 per cent sickening.

‘I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life, to play football, than at that moment, right there.

‘If you were one of those people cheering, or even smiled that he got knocked out, I just want to let you know, that I think it’s sickening.’

Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who’s a massive 330 pounds and delivered the sack on Cassel was similarly unimpressed by the fans, telling ESPN on Monday: ‘For them to cheer for him being hurt, that’s just not cool.’

Ngata added: ‘Hopefully, he bounces back and gets better.’

Cassel is unlikely to play this weekend, and it’s hard to see why he’d want to – before the game so-called fans funded a banner to be flown over the stadium calling for him to be dropped and the Chiefs GM to get the flick.

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