Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree have a history of scuffling, and they added a new chapter to their rivalry Sunday when the two sparked an all-out brawl between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders.
Both players were ejected from the game, but the Broncos cornerback claims that Crabtree incited the incident by punching him one play after he supposedly punched teammate Chris Harris in the stomach on the play before.
Harris, Denver’s other starting cornerback, claimed Monday that Crabtree sucker punched him. Talib told reporters Monday that he wasn’t trying to defend Harris, but rather was responding to the Raiders wide receiver punching him after the play.
“If you see the play, I didn’t defend Chris,” Talib said. “He punched Chris, and the next play he came and punched me. He was on his whatever he was on. I wasn’t even defending Chris this time you know what I”m saying. That wasn’t even a problem.”
Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off during the play, which could have set off the altercation, but the cornerback claims he didn’t enter Sunday with the intention of going toe-to-toe with Crabtree.
“I came out there to play football on Sunday,” Talib said. “I don’t really know what he came out there to do. I just came out there to play football. He came out here on this extra stuff, so one thing led to another, man. It’s unfortunate. I wish it didn’t happen, but it happened.”
While the NFL reportedly could suspend both players, Talib hopes the league sees how the fight started and is disappointed he didn’t defuse the situation.
“The second half of it definitely could have been diffused,” Talib said. “That’s what I’m disappointed about, the second half of it. The first half of it was him being extra. That’s what he wanted. He didn’t want to play that game. He wanted to come out and wrestle all day. That’s what happened.”
We can’t wait to hear Crabtree’s side of the story.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images