An NFL official was placed on administrative leave by the league Tuesday, two days after a postgame confrontation during which he was accused of using a vulgar term toward a player.
The league said Roy Ellison would remain on leave while it investigates the incident between the longtime official and Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes following the Bills’ loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
A video of the confrontation that circulated on social media can be seen here (warning: contains profanity). In it, Hughes screams at Ellison: “You called me a … ! I’ll catch you! Trust me, I’ll catch you! I’ll catch you, guarantee it!”
As he’s being led away from Ellison, Hughes sounds like he says, “Gonna knock his … out when I see him on the streets.”
Hughes later denied to reporters that a confrontation with Ellison had taken place.
No punishment has been announced for Hughes for the incident, but multiple media reports say he won’t be suspended. Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters Monday he’s going to leave the situation in the league’s hands.
“Jerry and I have spoken, and I’ve gotten all the information from Jerry that I need, and we’ll move forward from there,” McDermott said. “All I know is that it’s being handled by the league at this point.”
The NFL Referees’ Assn. said in a statement Wednesday that it expects the NFL’s investigation to “clear Roy Ellison.”
“Video from last week’s game shows he was verbally threatened by a player who has a well-documented history of abusive language and inappropriate actions towards our officials,” Executive Director Scott Green stated. “While we are disappointed that the NFL has yet to address that aspect of the incident, we look forward to working with the league during its review and will ensure that Roy’s rights are protected during this process.”
Ellison was suspended without pay in 2013 for making a profane and derogatory statement toward Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams during a game.