During the Tennessee Titans season opener on Monday Night Football, starting linebacker Rashaan Evans was ejected from the game after punching Denver Broncos tight end Jake Butt. Evans is now speaking out about the incident.
While addressing the moments leading up to the physical altercation, Evans said, “It was basically an overreaction after the play. A little bit after the whistle, there was a little tussle and I ended up overreacting by hitting him,” TMZ reports.
The 24-year-old athlete continued by saying: “But at the end of the day, man, I’ve got to keep playing, get ready for next week and basically make up for it.”
The altercation took place in the first half of the game. Prior to his exit, Evans made one tackle.
After the game, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel addressed the punch. He hopes Rashaan Evans learns from the experience. “You hurt the team [when you get yourself disqualified], but I think he’ll learn from it,” Vrabel said, according to The Tennessean.
While it remains unclear whether Evans may receive further punishment, he likely can expect a hefty fine from the NFL.
Monday Night Football Anthem Protests
During the playing of the National Anthem on Monday night, multiple players from both the Titans and Broncos chose to kneel. Eighteen Denver players participated in the protest while a slightly smaller number from the Titans joined in. Titans defender Brian Orakpo raised a gloved fist in the air while participating.
Also on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers faced off against the New York Giants. Prior to the game, the Steelers made a bold statement by holding a sign that read “Steelers Against Racism.”
Across the league, a number of teams protested in a variety of ways. For the NFL season opener featuring the Chiefs against the Texans, the Houston squad stayed in the locker room during the anthem. Social media sounded off on the issue, learn more here.