WR Mike Evans
Buccaneers WR Mike Evans Getty Images

The NFL announced that a postgame interaction between two officials and star Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans did not involve a request for an autograph.

The exchange had been captured by a beat reporter for the Carolina Panthers and then subsequently posted to Twitter. The interaction came after the Buccaneers lost to the Panthers 21-3.

Referees Tripp Sutter and Jeff Lamberth can be seen in the video handing Evans both a writing utensil and a piece of paper. Evans then writes something using the utensil on the piece of paper while the two referees stand idly by before Evans gives the piece of paper back to them. Many assumed that Evans was handing over an autograph.

The NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement does have a provision that is supposed to prevent its referees from directly asking players, coaches, or team personnel for autographs or memorabilia.

"After speaking with the individuals involved, we have confirmed that the postgame interaction between Jeff Lamberth, Tripp Sutter, and Mike Evans did not involve a request by the game officials for an autograph," said the NFL in a statement. “Both Lamberth and Sutter have been reminded of the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety when interacting with players, coaches, and club staff on gameday.”

The league’s statement did not specify what the interaction actually was nor was there any mention of discipline. NFL Network reported that Lamberth had asked for Evans’ phone number to pass along to a golf pro who would give Evans lessons. Evans and Lamberth both attended Texas A&M.

Evans also confirmed on Sunday that he was not signing an autograph.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.