New York (AFP) – Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was handed a one-game suspension without pay on Friday after shoving an official during his team’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, an NFL statement said.
Lynch was ejected during Thursday’s game, won 31-30 by the Raiders, during the second quarter following a melee involving Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, who had been penalised for a late hit on Derek Carr.
Lynch rushed onto the field after the incident and in the ensuing scuffle, bumped line judge Julian Mapp and then grabbed him by the jersey before letting him go.
That saw him ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct for breaching rules against any physical contact with game officials.
“You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was defusing an active confrontation between players,” NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said in a letter to Lynch informing him of his sanction.
“You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions.”
Lynch’s suspension means he will miss the Raiders’ game against the Buffalo Bills on October 29.
Lynch and Peters are close friends who both grew up in Oakland. Lynch’s team-mates later said he rushed onto the field to protect Peters from retribution by his Raiders teammates after the hit on Carr.
Following Lynch’s ejection, the flamboyant running back watched the rest of the game from the stands alongside fans.
Social media video footage later showed Lynch riding home from the game — with Peters — with fans on a Bay Area Rapid Transit train.