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NFL Warning to Players: Roughing the Official – Zero Tolerance

NFL Warning to Players: Roughing the Official – Zero Tolerance
Marshawn Lynch shoves line judge. (YouTube screengrab)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 December 2017 09:12 AM

The NFL issued a warning to all players that there would be "significant discipline” taken against anyone engaging in "offensive contact or conduct" toward game officials following several recent incidents in which officials were verbally and physically harassed.

A memo was issued by Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president, on Monday, ABC News reported.

The memo was revealed by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said it encouraged players to “uphold the highest standards of professionalism and sportsmanship,” and urged them to show respect to officials.

“We want to keep our players on the field,” the memo read. “No one wants a penalty or an ejection to determine the outcome of a game. In recent weeks, however, there have been several suspensions and ejections because of contact with, and conduct toward, our game officials.”

The memo went on to list examples of such suspensions, which included “players getting in the faces of officials to dispute calls, penalty flags thrown into the crowd, and officials being verbally disparaged as they leave the stadium.”

Three players have been ejected this season for making contact with NFL officials, ESPN reported.

In one incident, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for a game after shoving line judge Julian Mapp during a game against Kansas City in Oct., The New York Times reported.

In a second incident, side judge Laird Hayes suffered bruised ribs after he tried to break up a brawl between members of the Denver Broncos and Raiders in November.

According to the Sporting News, Raiders guard Gabe Jackson was ejected from the game after he reportedly shoved Hayes to make his way into the fight.

Cleveland Browns right tackle Shon Coleman received a fine of $30,387 after he charged into umpire Jeff Rice while chasing a loose ball, forcing him to the ground.

In the most recent incident, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for charging at field judge Joe Larrew after his attempts to call a timeout went unheard.

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The NFL issued a warning to all players that there would be "significant discipline” taken against anyone engaging in "offensive contact or conduct" toward game officials following several recent incidents in which officials were verbally and physically harassed.
nfl, warning, players, official
339
2017-12-13
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 09:12 AM
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