Bengals’ player hits out at talk of a side based in England.
Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth wants no part of any American football squad based in London, going so far as to say he would quit rather than play for an England-based team.
“I would hope that I was financially able to quit,” Whitworth said. “That’s what I would hope, because if I was, my papers would be the first one in.”
And Whitworth, a Pro Bowl all-star blocker who serves as the club’s union representative, said he doubts he is the only National Football League player who would not want to play for an overseas club regularly.
“I don’t see that a lot of guys would want to do that,” Whitworth said. “I don’t see any players that would enjoy that. Sure, you may find a handful of guys that say, ‘Oh hey, that would be cool,’ but the rest of them wouldn’t.”
There has been interest among some in the NFL in having a team based outside of the United States, with London among the cities mentioned, in part because of the success of NFL regular season games played at Wembley Stadium.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will play a game in London this year for the fourth season in a row when they meet the San Francisco 49ers on October 27.
The NFL will stage two games in London this season, the first being between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings on September 29.
Count Whitworth among those who does not want to play even a single game in London.
“I would hate it, but it is what it is,” Whitworth said. “One time, it’s not fun, but you got to do what you got to do. But I wouldn’t enjoy that, either.”