CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is waiting on a ruling from the NFL on a request he made to carry a handgun in the waistband of his uniform pants for his team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Burfict did not specifically say why he would like to have a gun on the field, but did make it clear that the gun would be black, therefore matching one of his team’s official colors.
“I’ve got my reasons,” Burfict told reporters today. “It’s personal and that’s all I’m going to say about it right now. I’m sure you’ll see on Sunday the reason I want a gun on the field.”
The league office is currently reviewing its uniform protocol and a source says they have yet to find any language specifically banning handguns, “although I think it’s one of those cases where no one thought to write that into the rules because who would even considering doing that?” said the source. The league is reportedly waiting to make a final ruling on Burfict’s request until they can finalize a deal with an official NFL handgun partner before kickoff on Sunday.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said his team is not concerned about what Burfict may or may not do with a gun during the game.
“We need to take care of our responsibilities as a team and try to win a very important game,” he said. “I’m sure Vontaze is planning to murder some or all of us, and we’ll have to deal with that at the time. But in all due respect to Vontaze, who is a very good player, we’re not too worried because he’s definitely the kind of guy who will accidentally shoot himself or his own teammates before he harms anyone on our side.”
Burfict denied he intends to shoot prominent Steelers players.
“There’s a lot more you can do with a gun than just shoot someone, you know,” said Burfict. “There’s also pistol whipping and … well, I guess that’s the two main things.”