Former NFL referee Terry McAulay commented on Tuesday that he felt there should have been no ejection for Cleveland Browns safety Ronnie Harrison against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Harrison got tangled up with players on the sideline during the game and was pushed by one of the Chiefs’ coaches. Harrison reacted by pushing the coach back, resulting in his ejection from the game.
Ronnie Harrison’s ejection versus the Chiefs
After reviewing the footage of Harrison’s shoving match on the sideline that earned him an ejection from the Browns’ season-opening game, McAulay shared his opinion that the ejection was a mistake.
“I’ve watched this numerous times and still can’t completely rationalize the outcome,” stated McAulay. “Video seems to show Harrison didn’t overtly do anything to deserve the shove by the coach.”
“His reaction to being shoved by someone not involved in the play, was a shove, mostly to the chest and some slight contact to the face, to the person that shoved him. Not a punch or a blow, just a shove,” continued McAulay about claims that Harrison reacted with excessive force.
The former NFL referee continued his explanation by stating that while Harrison’s actions deserved a penalty, his ejection was not a fair outcome for what actually transpired on the field. McAulay believes that the Chiefs coach is also in the wrong and wasn’t penalized for it.
“Sideline personnel should never involve themselves like this after a play and Harrison’s spontaneous reaction to the shove, while deserving a foul, didn’t deserve the DQ,” McAulay explained. “I think the DQ of Harrison by NY was a greater overreaction than that of both Harrison and the coach.”
McAulay finished his take on the situation by explaining that referees during the game should have called offsetting penalties. By doing this they could officially penalize their actions, while allowing the NFL to review the situation to determine if either Harrison or the Chiefs required further punishments.
“On the field, penalize both, resulting in an offset, and after then fact, the league can fine as they see fit,” closed McAulay. “The result on the field seemed inequitable at best.”
Harrison in the NFL
An Alabama product, the defensive back played three seasons at Alabama before being drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville. He played two seasons with the Jaguars before being traded to the Browns at the start of last season.
In his first three seasons in the NFL, he has 141 total tackles with 19 pass breakups, four interceptions and a fumble receovery, including a touchdown return. In Week Seven against the Bengals, Harrison led the the Browns with nine tackles (six solo), sacked Joe Burrow once and recovered a fumble lost by Burrow during the 37–34 win.
Ranked as one of the top safety prospects in his draft class, he tallied seven career interceptions in his college career.
On3’s Pete Nakos contributed to this article.