FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 17: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs without his helmet to the locker room during halftime against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. | Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon retweeted a post that both insulted NFL officials and used a photo of a player and a male official kissing in the process after the Patriots’ 27-17 loss Sunday to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Judon, who is out with an injury, retweeted an AI-generated image of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes kissing an official, writing “I see no lies,” suggesting that Mahomes gets preferential treatment when it comes to fouls called.

The clear inference that NFL officials are on the take when it comes to Mahomes is obvious in Judon’s post. But what has not been as addressed is the implied homophobia — a dog whistle for homophobes — using two men kissing as a reason for collusion and corruption among NFL officials.

We have seen this same cheap use of homophobic imagery or words many times in sports, showing that among certain athletes it’s the worst slur one can think of.

Judon easily could have used an AI image of Mahomes stuffing an official’s pockets with money to make the same point, no matter how absurd the point is. But instead he thought two guys kissing would make it more effectively.

Judon is clearly in line for a fine for criticizing NFL officiating. Ironically, Mahomes was fined $50,000 last week by the NFL and his coach Andy Reid $100,000 for their complaints about officiating following the Chiefs’ loss to Buffalo. Judon needs to get something similar.