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NY Jets: Sauce Gardner sounds off on controversial holding call

Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Getty Images

After a debatable holding call, New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner didn’t hold back

New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner has never been one to hold back. He wears his emotions on his sleeve to a large extent and speaks his mind the same way.

That’s why, when Gardner was called for a controversial hold to negate an interception, he slapped his own helmet in disbelief. After the game, he had some choice comments about the call.

“The receiver ran into me, there was a collision, same thing that was happening all game, and they threw no flags,” Gardner said. “Pat [Mahomes] threw the ball outside the receiver, MC [Michael Carter II] was there, he made the play, then the ref threw the flag.”

Gardner continued, “Me personally, that’s like when you play basketball one-on-one and you go up to lay the ball up, and you wait to see you miss and then say ‘foul.’ I can’t believe that. I don’t even know what to say.”

On Monday, the star cornerback had more to say about the situation. Gardner tweeted a since-deleted post where he joked that if he were a “Swiftie,” the referee would not have called a penalty on him. He was responding to the NFL Instagram page that initially indicated the Chiefs were 2-0 as Swifties. The national NFL audience was treated to 17 separate looks at Taylor Swift in Travis Kelce’s box.

Mahomes rebuttal

Gardner also responded to comments made by Mahomes on Monday. In a spot with 610SportsKC, Mahomes said, “You can’t get your hands around guys’ necks like that.” He added that he thought the play was a penalty from his vantage point on the field.

As a result, Gardner tweeted out a video of the play and explained what happened from “his perspective.”

For starters, this was around 5-7 yards from the line of scrimmage, not 15. I extended my arms, and he made the choice to lean on me with all of his weight, which caused my hand to slide to the back of his pad, not his neck,” Gardner demonstrated.

“I did not grab him; I actually made a conscious effort to remove my right arm. As you can see in the video, he then tried to swim with his right hand, and I pushed his arm down with my left hand lmaoo… There y’all have it. It was not a holding or illegal contact. Oh, my fault, it was holding because he threw the flag.” 

That blown call may not have cost the Jets the game, but it definitely contributed immensely. It was a call that, due to how the rest of the game was officiated, should not have been made in that situation.

The time for complaining is over, though. As aggravating as the call was, the Jets now move on to a must-win matchup against the Broncos. If they play as well as they did against Kansas City, they shouldn’t need to worry about the referees swinging the game.

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