NFL Investigating Whether Referees Sought Autographs From Mike Evans | Athletic Business

NFL Investigating Whether Referees Sought Autographs From Mike Evans

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The NFL is looking into allegations that two referees working a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers approached Tampa wide receiver Mike Evans after the game for an autograph. 

The moment was caught on video by 1340 AM Fox Sports, and appears to show side judge Jeff Lamberth and line judge Tripp Sutter calling Evans' name as he leaves through the tunnel. Evans then appears to sign autographs for the referees. 

ESPN reported that Lamberth is in his 21st season and Sutter is in his fourth. 


The NFL and NFL Referees Association bar officials from seeking autographs from players or coaches, as it can give the appearance of partiality. 

The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLRA does allow officials to seek autographs, team merchandise and memorabilia for charitable endeavors. However, those requests have to be made through the league's officiating department and not in person. 


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