Raiders' Michael Crabtree fires back at NFL following suspension

Michael Crabtree says the NFL got it all wrong when it tried to justify his punishment for fighting with the Broncos’ Aqib Talib.

In a rare interview, the Raiders receiver told The Athletic he not only didn’t deserve to be suspended for the skirmish, but the league’s interpretation of the incident doesn’t match reality.

“The league said it was premeditated on my part,” Crabtree said in his phone interview with Vic Tafur. “You know what premeditated is? When you say you’re going to do something, do it, and then laugh about it with the media after the game. Like (Talib) did last year. That’s all on him. I’m not trying to get revenge. I’m trying to get a catch in my 122nd straight game and help my team win a big game. I don’t want to get kicked out. I know what’s at stake for my team.”

Advertisement

Crabtree, though, played just three minutes Sunday as both he and Talib were ejected after wrestling, then trading punches in a wild brawl. Just like last year, Talib snatched Crabtree’s gold chain off his neck.

"ESPN said that I taped the chain to myself before the game because I was worried about it. I didn’t,” Crabtree told The Athletic. “I don’t care about no chains. I am just playing ball. Not worried about nothing. I don’t like how the whole thing got flipped and I am the bad guy."

While both Crabtree and Talib received good news Tuesday when the NFL reduced its original two-game suspensions to one game, Crabtree still wasn’t pleased about having to sit out this Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

“I was looking forward to no games,” Crabtree said. “But there is nothing I can do about that.”Crabtree also defended his actions on the play preceding the brawl, on which the Broncos’ Chris Harris Jr. said he was punched by the Raiders receiver.

"I was just blocking Chris Harris and then he looked at me sideways," Crabtree said. "I always block like that. The Raiders receivers take pride in how they block. I didn’t punch him. Just blocked up. Watch the tape."