Ryan Clark said that officials were out to penalize him in Sunday's game against the New York Giants, and that they were wrong to throw a flag on a second-quarter hit on Victor Cruz.
The 33-year-old safety has earned a reputation for being a hard hitter, but feels his hit on Cruz was perfectly legal. Clark didn't appear to be gunning for Cruz' head when he nailed the receiver vying for a deflected pass in the end zone, but he was flagged for making a helmet-to-helmet hit. After replay, it appeared as if the referees had botched the call. Clark said that the officials "knew they were wrong," and made the call because of a vendetta against him:
"They had meetings about me before the game," Clark said. "So any time they see the number 25 flash, and a hit be made, it's going to be an opportunity for me to get a flag."
Clark said that the hit was exaggerated because Cruz had a rib injury. Cruz had said earlier in the week that the Steelers' defensive backs were dirty, and often blatantly committed penalties that weren't getting called.