The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Carolina Panthers 21-3, which was pretty bad, but something else caught the public’s attention. A video that shows judge Jeff Lambert and hand-line judge Tripp Sutter allegedly asking Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans for an autograph surfaced on social media.

The NFL is looking into the event, which may have violated the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the Referees Association, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, according to a report on Audacy.

Pelisserio tweeted: “The NFL is reviewing the incident involving side judge Jeff Lamberth and line judge Tripp Sutter, I’m told. The NFL-NFLRA CBA specifically says game officials “shall not… ask players, coaches or any other team personnel for autographs or memorabilia.”

According to the CBA, “Game Officials shall not…sell or trade NFL tickets for anything of greater value than the face value of the tickets; or…sell or trade anything of value NFL merchandise, autographs or memorabilia; or…ask players, coaches or any other team personnel for autographs or memorabilia.”

An official may only obtain an autograph, team memorabilia, or products for “personal or charitable purposes.” Nevertheless, the CBA states that these demands “should be made through the Officiating Department and never to a player or team employee directly.” Now some referees will face harsh criticism because fan bases might suspect they could favor one team or player over another.


Photo: Twitter video screencap

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