FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bills receiver Stevie Johnson was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after his first-quarter touchdown catch, a result of lifting his jersey and revealing an under-shirt that had the words "Happy New Year" written on it.
Johnson discussed the penalty, and being benched by coach Chan Gailey for it, after the Bills' 49-21 loss to the Patriots.
"I didn’t know it was going to draw a penalty," he said. "At the end of the day, what I did was what I did, and I am going to try and bring in the New Year. Ultimately, it hurt my teammates and that is the thing that is hurting me the most. The fact is that it hurt my team.
"The coach told me I was out of the game. He said for the rest of the game and I have to respect his decision. He made it and that is what it is. I can’t complain about it or whine or pout. He made his decision and I am going with it. It really doesn’t matter why or how it happened at the end of the day, what I did hurt my teammates and I have to take that and I will."
Said Bills coach Chan Gailey: "What we said after we had an issue earlier in the season was ‘If anybody got a penalty that hurt our football team for any kind of demonstration, that he was out that game and then we would decide about the next game.’ And so, if I say that, then I am going to do it, so he was out. ... I am disappointed. What happens is, it happened last year, he put a message on his shirt, showed his shirt and didn’t get a flag. And he does it this year, and he gets a flag. Which one is it, you know? It puts me in a bind because I make the statement and if I say it, I’m going to do it. So, I could not argue the gray area of that. So, yeah, I’m disappointed and if it hurts the team, then I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do."