A Raven shoved a ref in the Super Bowl, and, despite the fact that the heated moment is caught on camera, the player escaped without discipline.
The incident in the second quarter of the Super Bowl is leaving many San Francisco 49ers fans bitter, adding to a couple of other curious calls (or non-calls) from referees. After 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw an interception to Ed Reed, players on both teams began pushing and shoving when the play ended.
Cary Williams of the Ravens was shoved to the ground and got up quickly to resume brawling. It was then, caught on the cameras for the CBS broadcast, that the Raven shoves the ref by accident instead of a 49ers player.
Normally, any contact with officials, accidental or not, warrants an ejection. But referees didn’t eject Williams. The fact that Cary Williams clearly shoved the ref makes the call that much more curious. Yahoo! Sports notes: “We’re not sure what Williams’ rationale could have been — he appeared from video replays to be getting up from a crouch with full view of the ref. Normally this is an automatic instant ejection, but Williams stayed in the game.”
After the brawl died down, referee Jerome Boger called offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties on 49ers tackle Joe Staley and Ravens cornerback Corey Graham. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk pointed out that Boger missed another possible ejection this year after Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton made contact with Boger during a regular season game. Newton was allowed to remain in the game.
The Ravens player who shoves the ref definitely caught a break, Florio noted. The reporter asked former NFL official and officiating supervisor Jim Daopoulos about the protocol for ejection. Daopoulos said there is no room for interpretation — any contact is supposed to result in ejection.