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Report: NFL officials union complains about Harbaugh covid-19 violation during sideline argument

NFL officials allege John Harbaugh was not covid-19 safe while arguing with line judge Mark Steinkerchner



The NFL Referees Association, the officials’ union, has reportedly complained to the NFL that Ravens coach John Harbuaugh pulled his mask down and violated social distancing guidelines to argue with line judge Mark Steinkerchner during the Week 3 Monday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to a report on NFL Network, the NFLRA raised its concerns to NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. Hensley also reported that Harbaugh has not heard from the league about the matter and declined to comment further.

The NFL has already heavily fined head coaches Jon Gruden, Sean Payton, Vic Fangio, Sean McVay and Pete Carroll for not wearing a mask on the sideline during a game.

Harbaugh defended his actions, stating that his team has been covid-19 compliant and the incident in question represented a few seconds in a three-hour game.

Officials wear masks while on the field, but have pulled the masks down to blow their whistle or when the referee makes a penalty announcement.

No word yet if the NFL will sanction Harbaugh for his up-close harangue.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"