NFL Star Davante Adams Charged With Assault After Pushing ESPN Game Photographer

Authorities charged star Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams with misdemeanor assault Wednesday over a Monday incident in which he pushed a photographer to the ground on his way out of the stadium after a loss, a rare instance of criminal charges stemming from an on-field incident.

Davante Adams was charged with misdemeanor assault Wednesday.

Key Facts

Adams committed an “unlawful, overt act” to “intentionally inflict injury” to the photographer Ryan Zebley as Adams walked out of Arrowhead Stadium following the Raiders’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, according to court records provided by the Kansas City police to Forbes and other outlets.

Zebley, a freelance photographer for ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast, suffered whiplash, a headache and potentially a minor concussion, according to the citation.

Video of the incident where Adams uses both hands to shove Zebley after the photographer walked in front of him quickly went viral, and Adams quickly apologized, writing on Twitter he was “very frustrated” from the loss and he “felt horrible immediately.”

Misdemeanor assault charges in Missouri can carry up to a one-year jail sentence and a fine up to $2,000, while the NFL is reportedly mulling suspending Adams.

Key Background

A fan who ran onto the field during the Los Angeles Rams last week before being tackled by Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner filed a police report against Wagner and allegedly suffered a concussion. There’s little legal precedent for professional athletes facing legal consequences from gameday violence, even if their actions could be classified as assault. Marty McSorley of the NHL’s Boston Bruins was charged with assault in 2000 for hitting an opponent in the head with his hockey stick but faced no jail time, while five Indiana Pacers were arrested in 2004 for fighting with fans in perhaps the ugliest brawl in NBA history.

Big Number

$141 million. That’s how much the Raiders are paying Adams over the next five years, the largest contract for a wide receiver in NFL history.

Chief Critic

Many in the NFL world criticized the photographer for pressing charges over the relatively mild incident, including agent Zac Hiller, who called the issue “absurd” and asked for the NFL to cover Adams’ legal fees.

This content was originally published here.

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