A protester tackled by Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner after running onto the field during a “Monday Night Football” game at the San Francisco 49ers filed a report the next day, police confirmed on Wednesday.
“I ain’t really focused on it. I’m more concerned about the security guard that was hurt trying to chase him,” Wagner told reporters at the Rams training complex, according to The Associated Press.
Lt. Cuong Phan with the Santa Clara Police Department confirmed Wednesday there was an active investigation into the incident, AP reported.
When asked about the police report, Rams coach Sean McVay supported his player, saying, “I think that we all know where Bobby’s intentions were. And I support Bobby Wagner. That’s where I’m at with that. I don’t think anybody will disagree,” according to ESPN.
The incident was perpetrated by animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, which also staged a protest with pink smoke flares during the NFL’s season opener between the Rams and the Buffalo Bills.
With 41 seconds left in the first half, protesters Alex Taylor and Allison Fluty ran across the field holding pink smoke flares, chased by security.
Fluty was subdued by security, but Taylor evaded capture.
When Taylor ran closer to the Rams’ sideline, Wagner and fellow linebacker Takkarist McKinley moved out, with Wagner delivering the hit that sent the protester to the ground.
Wagner told reporters that coaches and players have the right to be concerned about what field invaders might bring with them.
“People run on the field for no reason sometimes. Again, pretty sure it’s going to keep happening, but you never know what that person has got in their pocket, their hands, whatever,” Wagner said, AP reported.
• Brad Matthews can be reached at email@example.com.
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