We need to talk about Davante Adams getting charged with misdemeanor assault for pushing a photographer.
The discussion around this incident has been insufferable, but there are some elements of it that could result in positive change.
To recap what happened, the Raiders were trailing the Chiefs 30-29 late in the fourth quarter, with Las Vegas attempting to mount a drive for a game winning field goal attempt. A fourth down mix-up led Hunter Renfrow and Davante Adams to collide while running their routes, and it resulted in the Raiders collecting their fourth loss of the season.
The last time a team that Davante Adams was on a team that started 1-4 was never.
The last time a team that Davante Adams wasn’t redshirting on had a losing record after 5 weeks was never.
Adams is arguably the best receiver in football, and he’s brand new to losing.
After slamming his helmet on the sideline, Adams was in the process of exiting the field when photographer Ryan Zebly crossed into his field of vision, and Adams shoved him to the ground.
We can debate whether or not Zebly put himself in a position to be bumped by Adams by unnecessarily walking into his path, what we can’t do is justify the shove when Adams himself immediately publicly apologized.
Here’s what Adams has to say in his tweet:
“Sorry to the guy I pushed over after the game. Obviously very frustrated at the way the game ended and when he ran in front of me as I exited that was my reaction and I felt horrible immediately. That’s not me.. MY APOLOGIES man, hope you see this.”
So Davante Adams is sorry, and he should be. But is he a criminal?
After the game, Ryan Zebly filed a police report, and the
Kansas City Municipal Court issued a citation for misdemeanor assault on Wednesday, alleging that Adams “did, by an intentional, overt act, inflict bodily injury or cause an unlawful offensive contact upon Ryan Zebly by pushing him to the ground using two hands, causing whiplash and headache. possible minor concussion.”
On one hand, It’s good to see that the Kansas City Municipal Court takes brain health more seriously than the Miami Dolphins.
On another hand, I’ve watched enough Better Call Saul to know that a police report like this is almost always a precursor to an attempt at a civil settlement.
And anyone that follows the NFL knows that Davante Adams can afford it.
If you’ve been on an NFL sideline, you know that there are ten dozen credentialed people looking for any and every way to capture and pass on any moment of exuberance or frustration to pass on to us, the consumers.
And if you’ve been a participant in an NFL game, as I have, you know that those people are more often than not a hindrance, and one or two are guaranteed to go down like bowling pins due to incidental contact with superhuman athletes moving at otherworldly speeds.
It’s already a “keep your head on a swivel” environment, and what Ryan Zebly might not realize is that this criminal charge, and likely eventual lawsuit, could create changes for the amount of access that multimedia journalists can access during and after the game.
Truth be told, maybe the tunnel isn’t the best place to be chronicling the emotions of someone that is processing not only a loss, but the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are in the process of memeing you to death for running into your teammate.
Again, I’m not making any justification for Davante’s actions, but if this does result in any changes being made to where photographers can go and when they can go there, not one NFL player is going to lose a second of sleep over it.
Let that sink in.