The sideline altercation during the Week 1 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns that led to Browns safety Ronnie Harrison being ejected has been hotly debated since it occurred. And while most people agree that Harrison did deserve to be ejected for shoving Chiefs running backs coach Greg Lewis, others, specifically one Browns star, are wondering why Lewis did not receive the same penalty as Harrison.
“I saw [Harrison],” Cleveland All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett Garrett said after the game, per the Akron Beacon Journal. “He was tangled up. I saw him get pushed and he pushed. And I was like, ‘We don’t need any of that for our team. We’ve got to be smarter than that.’
“But [Lewis] should get the treatment our player should get. He should be tossed out of the game just like Ronnie.”
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Teammate Backs Garrett
Another Browns player that spoke similarly to Garrett on the subject was starting center and NFLPA president, JC Tretter. Tretter seemed baffled by the idea that Harrison was penalized and removed from the game while Lewis remained on the sideline.
“We can’t have opposing coaches putting their hands on opposing players,” Tretter said, via Ben Axelrod of WKYC Studios.
“I would expect that the coach gets held to the same standard — if not a higher standard than Ronnie — being the first one in there and being a coach, putting his hands on an opposing player,” Tretter said. “I don’t think there’s any room for that in this league.”
Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski was also asked about the scuffle and injected his perspective into the conversation.
“I do think that any contact that came from Ronnie was incidental,’’ Stefanski said, per Cleveland.com. “If you watch the tape, it’s pretty obvious that he’s getting collisioned as he’s trying to get off of their boundary, but that doesn’t excuse him from retaliating. You can’t do that. That’s something we all know, that the game officials will see the second guy not the first guy.’’
Kansas City head coach Andy Reid had a different perspective on what when down on the Chiefs’ sideline than Stefanski.
“Yeah, so the fellow that was involved with it came over and he was on the chest of our player and that’s what happened,” Reid explained. “So, he (Lewis) was trying to get him (Harrison) off and he didn’t want to get off, so he kind of just lifted him a little bit and then he got hit. But he was there to help get that fellow who was leaning on our guy. That’s why there was a penalty, right? So, the officials fixed it, which I thought was important. You don’t do that on our sideline, you don’t do that to our guys, bottom line.”
Fines Likely Coming
Because of the altercation, we should expect to see a fine administered to at least Harrison from the NFL prior to Week 2 kicking off. There is a slim chance that Lewis could be fined because he initially shoved Harrison, even if the intent was to remove Harrison’s foot from a Kansas City player on the ground. However, because there was no penalty on Lewis during the game, he will likely not be fined.