After Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robbie Anderson was booted from a game Sunday by his own coach, he tried to frame the action as a byproduct of his competitive nature.
Coach Steve Wilks had a different story.
“No one is bigger than the team,” Wilks said, according to ESPN. “I’m not going to focus and put a lot of attention on one individual.”
Anderson was sent off the field in the third quarter of Carolina’s 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Anderson had an intense conversation with wide receivers coach Joe Dailey in the game’s second quarter. When he and Dailey got into it again in the third quarter, Wilks sent Anderson to the locker room, according to Sports Illustrated.
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) October 16, 2022
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) October 16, 2022
“I’m here to do all I can to help us win. It’s third down, I’m being taken out the game, you know, I don’t think I should be OK with that,” Anderson said after the game. “So, I made a comment, ‘It’s the money down, why am I being taken out?’ And that’s that.”
When asked why he was removed, Anderson spoke about himself.
“I have no idea but I do know one thing I do. I always stand on and continue to do is I give my all to everything that I do,” he said. “I don’t play this game for money, I don’t play this game for fame, things like that. I play this game ’cause I love the game of football, I’m saying.”
After saying his goal was to help the team win the Super Bowl, he added, “I’m never going to belittle myself from that aspect.”
“Everybody’s not always going to understand you,” he said. (1:22) “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. I don’t live for the approval of others. I keep God first, my family and myself.”
There were plenty of opinions on Twitter.
Robbie Anderson was on the trading block before this game, a game where he got into it with a coach and was sent off the field by interim head coach. I don’t know what term to use other than he’s now realllllly on the trading block
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 16, 2022
Robbie Anderson has been sent to the locker room by his own team pic.twitter.com/KqsKadRLv4
— PFF (@PFF) October 16, 2022
Robbie Anderson seen leaving the field after what looked like a disagreement w/ the Panthers’ WR coach
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 16, 2022
#Panthers Robbie Anderson is sitting away from the rest of the WRs on the sidelines.
The team is reportedly actively shopping him around the league. pic.twitter.com/RSvawGGhYk
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 16, 2022
Anderson said he was “honestly confused” by being sent out of the game, according to ESPN.
“I wanted to be in the game. I’ve never had somebody yell to get out of the game. So I was honestly confused and upset by that. I should be. I don’t see nobody that is a true competitor, that knows the value they bring and has true passion for the game, that will be OK with being told not to do something or being taken out of something when they didn’t do nothing wrong,” he said.
“I don’t want nobody to have a misconception of me,” he said. “Other times in my life when I’ve had moments of controversy, I didn’t speak up for myself. It’s not just about me. It’s when young kids go through similar things, they need to know to stand up for themselves.”
Anderson said the debate was all about playing to win.
“You shouldn’t be OK with not being on that turf,” he said, according to ESPN. “You should want to make a play. Losing is not acceptable. You don’t play this game to lose. You could consider me a loser my whole life growing up. I didn’t get this far in life to continue to be a loser. It’s not what I work for.”
According to ESPN, Wilks would not say if Anderson would be playing next week when the Panthers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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