It seemed like something out of a pro wrestling broadcast: head-butting a referee in the chest, followed by an ejection.
It wasn’t a choreographed move by Lions linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, when he made contact with one of the officials, Alex Kemp, in the second quarter.
Kemp immediately threw a penalty flag and announced that Collins was ejected for making contact with an official.
“It was a mistake; nothing was intentional. It is what it is. They called it and they threw me out,” Collins said Thursday. “Can’t do nothing about it but take it on the chin, hope for the best and get ready for this week.”
Following the game, Kemp explained that he thought Collins’ contact was unnecessary and warranted an ejection. Collins looked to be demonstrating what he thought the Chicago Bears running backs were doing do him. After the play, Collins, ducked his head and moved toward Kemp and both seemed surprised when Collins’ helmet hit Kemp’s chest.
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The decision to eject Collins came as something of a surprise.
“I don’t agree with it. I didn’t feel that I was a threat or anything toward him. It wasn’t like I intentionally tried to make contact with him,” Collins said. “It was a mistake and I don’t agree with it, but I’ll take the consequences and move on.”
Collins said he needed some time in the locker room to cool down before he watched the end of the game, when the Lions’ defense surrendered a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter, giving up three touchdowns, en route to a 27-23 loss.
Coach Matt Patricia said he understood what Collins was trying to do, but he crossed the line, whether intentional or not.
“Look, I think the bottom line is there are rules in place for a reason and it’s to protect everybody that’s out on the field, including the officials,” Patricia said. “Everybody knows that. Whether it’s an honest mistake or not, you just can’t do that. That’s the bottom line.”