Even inadvertent contact with an official gets a player ejected

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In the aftermath of the ejection of Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, our man Gantt suggested that the punishment wasn’t justified because Kuechkly didn’t know he was making contact with an official.

While it’s likely Kuechly didn’t know, it doesn’t matter.

A league source has pointed out that the rules strictly prohibit any contact with game officials, regardless of whether the player knows or doesn’t know he’s making contact with an official.

In this case, Kuechly knew he was making contact with someone after the play.  By making contact with the person who was making contact with Kuechly, Kuechly assumed the risk that he’d be contacting an official.

22 responses to “Even inadvertent contact with an official gets a player ejected

  1. If any contact with an official is barred, then how come players sometimes put a hand on an official’s back as they confer after a play is over? Is this allowed?

  2. Inadvertent contact should have always been an ejection.

    The NFL for too long refused to accept that being in control of one’s self is an important character trait.

  3. Every one on the fox broadcast spent a few minutes on how ridiculous this was. Pretty pathetic, especially when the ref is the one grabbing the player after he is grabbed and dragged out of the pile by a green bay player.

  4. That was a ridiculous call. The official made contact with Luke, not the other way around. There was absolutely no reason for him to touch him as he was walking away.

  5. Yeah they they let Luke get horse collared grabbed out of the pile and just stood there and then wonder why Luke was trying to prevent any other player from grabbing him, where was the flag on the Packers players?

  6. Panthers were beyond bad today but that ejection was horrible. Luke was obviously mad but he was walking away from the pile to go collect himself and the ref was still grabbing him from behind. I understand you can’t make contact with a ref but that means the refs have to not be the aggressor which it really appeared was the case here.

  7. Because the refs have to separate the players during a pileup – something they always do.

    Luke just can’t behave like a pro when his team isn’t front running on crappy teams like the Bucs.

  8. Next time a ref gets trampled on a crossing pattern they better throw the player who ran him over out of the game. Inadvertent or not doesn’t matter under the “strict” rules, right?

    The way the nfl bends over backwards to justify its horrible calls this year is really getting absurd. They have no credibility left on defending their calls .

  9. I’m a Packer fan and I would have preferred that the referee kept the flag in his pocket on that play.

    There were a few other questionable call during the game with both teams being recipients.

    The Panthers were over-matched in this one, so referee calls had little/no effect on the outcome.

    I would gladly trade middle linebackers with the Panthers.

  10. Could you please get rid of that stupid black PFT bar that inserts itself in the middle of the comments section so you can’t see what is being typed.

    Personal foul penalties need to be reviewable. A review would clearly show he was being grabbed by Packers left and right and then the ref grabbed him and he clearly thought it was another Packer. As soon as he saw it was a ref he gave him the respect deserved. But you can’t jump in the middle of a brawl of players and act like a brawler and not expect to be bumped. I have seen Suggs deck a ref during a fight with the Steelers and he just got up. Whoever that ref was acted like a little girl. If you can’t take the heat stay the heck out of the middle of a brawl old man.

  11. Intentional contact by a player with an official should always be an automatic ejection. No question. Gone.

    The key word in that phrase was “intentional”. There was no intentional contact made on that play by the player. The official was behind the player, grabbing the player, and the player was shrugging off the grab. He could not see who was grabbing him.

    This was a terrible call by the back judge that should have been over-ruled by the other officials. The back judge should be suspended and fined a game check.

  12. One could make the argument that he should have been ejected the second the Ref put his hand on Kuechly. When one person touches another there is “contact” doesn’t matter who initiates it. This was the most absurd and ridiculous call I have seen in a very long time, and the NFL is quickly becoming a joke with the officiating. Kuechly never contacted the official anyways, he was removing himself from being held by an official. For all those saying he should be responsible for his behavior, which I for one am in every instance but this, that means that you as a human being do not have the right to free yourself from non-wanted contact? Yea makes a lot of sense. Watch the replay 100 times, he never once has contact with the Ref he simply within his personal space tries to free himself from being held by another person. Im honestly surprised there is not way more backlash from this, I think the only reason why was that it was such a blowout.

    As others have posted on here and all over the internet and express on several different mediums, that means that every time a player shakes a hand, pats the back, or speaks too closely to an official they need to be ejected. Rules are rules! Funny how that works when its thrown the other way around.

  13. I love how everyone complains after the article specifically explains that it doesn’t not matter whether the action was intentional or not. He lost his cool, made aggressive contact with an official, ejected. Not too hard to understand, per the rules.

  14. The head ref that called that game , i’ve never liked!

    The official that threw that ridiculous flag on Luke HAD HIS HANDS ON LUKE , NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND , Luke was walking away from the pile after being horse collared out from the pile .

  15. You can clearly see when Kuechly finally realizes it was an actual ref that was grabbing him, he chilled out and, despite the current set of events, re-gathered himself quickly. The ref was caught in his feelings and got his authority on. Horrible call. The play needs to be reviewed and some type of compensation should be had. One of the good ol’ half as$ NFL apologies is in order.

    Kuechly will play twice as well one he takes the field again.

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