New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a profanity laced exchange with a referee Monday night after the Carolina Panthers' controversial 24-20 win.
In the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Brady threw a last-ditch effort pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski in an attempt to score a game-winning touchdown. Panthers safety Robert Lester intercepted the ball and a flag was immediately thrown, seemingly a pass interference foul against Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly who had locked Gronkowski in a bear hug in the end zone.
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But after a brief huddle, referee Clete Blakeman withdrew the penalty.
"There is no foul on the play. The game is over," he said.
Brady immediately sprinted off to catch up with Blakeman and unleashed his fury.
"That was f—ing brutal Clete," Brady could be heard yelling, before he was muted by the TV networks.
At the postgame press conference, the two-time NFL MVP seemed to have calmed down.
"[The ref] didn't say anything," Brady said of the exchange, according to ESPN Boston
. "I didn't really see the play, either, so I don't know whether it was a good call or a bad call.
"I wish it wouldn't come down to that [last play]," he said. "I think there are plenty of plays we could have made. But it did, and they are going to make a call or they are not going to make a call. ... We can play better than that."
Blakeman said Monday night that he feels confident about the final ruling.
"You never like to end the game with some controversy like that on a call, but I'm pleased that our officiating crew got together and communicated and discussed it and ultimately, I believe we got it right," he told reporters.
This video contains strong language.
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