Unsurprisingly, yet also unfairly, the league decided that a stern warning for Kansas City running backs coach Greg Lewis was more than sufficient for Lewis’ role in the altercation.
The NFL fined #Browns safety Ronnie Harrison $12,128 for last week's shoving match with #Chiefs RBs coach Greg Lewis, who wasn't fined by the league but received a warning that any subsequent violations will result in discipline, according to team and league sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 18, 2021
Harrison was ejected from the game just five plays into Cleveland’s first defensive series against the Chiefs after tackled Kansas City running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire along the sidelines in front of the Chiefs’ bench. Following the play, Harrison bumped into Kansas City center Creed Humphrey and got tangled up with Edwards-Helaire. That led Lewis to shove Lewis, with Harrison retaliating by pushing Lewis.
#Browns Ronnie Harrison can’t do this. You just can’t. Ejection and fine is automatic. Even if a coach pushes you because he thinks you’re purposely stepping on his player (and I actually don’t think it was on purpose by Harrison) you can’t open-hand shove a coach in the face. pic.twitter.com/jeWzEu1kUo— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 12, 2021
Harrison certainly deserved to be flagged for the shove, but the ejection was a bit excessive, especially given that the same level of justice was not delivered to Lewis.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Lewis did receive a “warning” from the league office that if he ever got up to this level of shenanigans again and violated Rule 13, Article 8, well then he would be in trouble.
The league also sent a memo, according to Pelissero, that states:
“Non-player personnel of a club (e.g., management personnel, coaches, trainers, equipment personnel) are prohibited from making unnecessary physical contact with or directing abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures at opponents, game officials, or representatives of the League. Penalty: Loss of 15 yards.
“As a reminder, club personnel attempting to address an issue involving players and/or staff from an opposing team should not make unnecessary physical contact with any individual who is not a member of his or her own club. Please contact a member of the Football Operations department with any questions.”
It is still unclear how Lewis avoided any penalty in all this given that the video clearly shows that he violated the rule.
The one silver lining in all this is that Harrison was not suspended, so he can start working to put all this behind him on Sunday against the Houston Texans.