There were some who wondered whether Raiders guard Gabe Jackson would be suspended a game for making contact with an official in last Sunday’s game against the Broncos.
Jackson made contact with the official while running over to defend teammate Michael Crabtree who had gotten in a shoving match with Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib.
Here's 7 Broncos going after Michael Crabtree on the sideline. Crab did start it, but man ...pic.twitter.com/LhDbOcHII5— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) November 26, 2017
All three players were ejected and Crabtree and Talib both received two game suspensions which were reduced to one game after appeal.
There is certainly precedence for suspensions for contact with an official. Earlier this month, Marshawn Lynch shoved an official while trying to break up a fight between his teammates and Chiefs cornerback, and fellow Oakland native, Marcus Peters. Lynch received a one-game suspension for that.
Ultimately Jackson was not suspended which prompted the NFLRA to send a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell complaining about it, according to MMQB’s Albert Breer.
The letter, addressed from NFLRA chief Scott Green to Goodell, said that the official Jackson pushed down, Laird Hayes, went to the doctor on Monday with bruised ribs and shortness of breath. He's expected to work on Walt Anderson's crew this weekend.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 30, 2017
“We are concerned that there was not a suspension,” said NFLRA Chief Scott Green, who went on to say that Jackson had pushed the official down, causing him bruised ribs and shortness of breath.
While I understand where the officials are coming from — setting precedence for shoving officials — there absolutely must be room for the human element and the eye test.
I would love to see what the league’s response was to this, but I’d imagine it would be something to the effect that they must allow the possibility of inadvertent incidental contact.
For the NFLRA to say Jackson ‘pushed’ the official is a stretch. He appears to basically bump into the official. Jackson’s attention is clearly elsewhere when he runs over there and the official simply got in the way.
As a side note; anyone who knows anything about Gabe Jackson would know he is pretty much the last person on the planet who would intentionally shove an official. Though understandably that isn’t something that can be taken into consideration in these situations.