Deshaun Watson has been under a microscope in the public eye since signing with the Cleveland Browns, but luckily for Browns fans referees don't seem to have that same microscope.
Watson made one of the biggest mistakes you can on the football field — putting his hands on a referee.
Deshaun Watson Referee Push
Watson was jawing with the Steelers sideline and the referees got involved to break it up — a routine scenario in a football game and not one that usually requires any extra attention.
But Watson went way too far, pushing the referee out of the way. This is not a routine scenario in a football game, for one key reason: This is supposed to be an automatic ejection.
Does Watson hit the referee hard? No. Does it look like the ref is in any danger from the move? No.
But the league does not mess around when it comes to protecting officials. This is supposed to be a zero-tolerance rule. Just check out how clear it is in the NFL rulebook:
"Unnecessary physical contact with a game official. Under no circumstance is a player allowed to shove, push, or strike an official in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike manner. The player shall be disqualified from the game, and any such action must be reported to the Commissioner."- NFL official rulebook
Whether you think the rule is too soft or not, it's pretty clear. The only potential wiggle room you could look for is that Watson pushing the referee wasn't "offensive, disrespectful or unsportsmanlike." But c'mon, you and I both know you're stretching if that's the straw you're grasping at.
Deshaun Watson got away with one. If the rule was enforced as written, we'd have been watching Dorian Thompson-Robinson finish this game.
Expect Watson to get a phone call from the league office this week, with a potential fine coming.
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