Kansas City police have publicly identified the freelancer who was pushed by Davante Adams on the sidelines of Arrowhead Stadium Monday night.
Ryan Zebley, a freelance photographer and cameraman, was working for ESPN’s Monday Night Football squad during the Raiders-Chiefs game when he was pushed by the frustrated Adams and eventually hospitalized. Zebley filed a complaint on Tuesday, claiming he suffered whiplash, headache and possibly a minor concussion as a result of his fall.
Adams was charged Wednesday with assault over the incident, a police spokesman told DailyMail.com. Misdemeanor assault in Missouri is punishable by up to 15 days in prison and a fine of up to $750.
Zebley was not identified until Wednesday, when police released the charges against Adams.
Adams, the NFL’s second-highest-paid receiver with $28.2 million for the 2022 season, stormed off the field Monday night after the Raiders’ final drive failed, giving the Chiefs a dramatic 30-29 win. As the visibly frustrated Adams approached the tunnel, Zebley crossed paths with the All-Pro.
It was then that Adams, six-foot, 215-pound, gave Zebley a shove and watched as he stumbled backwards and to the ground. Security eventually helped Zebley to his feet when Adams casually walked into the Arrowhead Stadium tunnel.
Zebley is not clearly visible in footage of the incident, but he appears to be seen in the background of other photos from the game, including one of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce celebrating a touchdown.
Ryan Zebley (circled), the freelancer knocked over by Adams, appears in this photo of Travis Kelce celebrating a touchdown Monday night in Kansas City. Zebley is seen in the background in brown pants with a device in his hands
While Las Vegas Raiders star Davante Adams is under investigation by Kansas City police and risks a possible suspension for pushing a photographer after Monday’s defeat to the Chiefs, his head coach rushes to defend him and calls the All-Pro wide receiver a ‘great guy”
josh McDaniels: ‘As a person, [Adams is] a great guy. I know that was an unfortunate situation’
Adams, the NFL’s second-highest-paid receiver with $28.2 million for the 2022 season, stormed off the field Monday night after the Raiders’ final drive failed, giving the Chiefs a dramatic 30-29 win. As the visibly frustrated Adams approached the tunnel, Ryan Zebley crossed the path of the All-Pro and was promptly pushed to the ground
While Adams is likely to be suspended for pushing Zebley after Monday’s defeat to the Chiefs, his head coach rushed to his defense on Tuesday, calling the All-Pro wide receiver a “great guy.”
“I wholeheartedly support Davante as a human being,” McDaniels told reporters on Tuesday. “As a person, he’s a great guy. I know that was an unfortunate situation. We obviously don’t want any of our guys doing something like that. He knows that. He is well aware of that. But I know the person. I don’t think there was any intention on his part.”
McDaniels, in his first year as Raiders head coach, acknowledged that the team would abide by any penalty imposed by Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office.
‘But what does it matter [the NFL] asks of us, whatever they need from us, of course we will obey. But we’re waiting a little [situation in terms of discipline] on this point.’
The league is also reviewing the incident and a suspension remains a possibility, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Pelissero’s colleague, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, suggested that “this one feels like more than a fine.”
The NFL is expected to rule on the matter early this week. Adams, a star of Green Bay Packers prior to this season, has never had any problems with the NFL.
A police report was provided to DailyMail.com on Tuesday.
“The victim is a photographer at the Chiefs/Raiders game,” the police report read. “At the end of the game, he was pushed to the ground, which injured him. He arranged private transport to the hospital for treatment, whereupon he called the police.
The injuries are currently considered non-life-threatening. The incident will be investigated by our Assault Unit investigators, upon completion they will coordinate with the appropriate city or state prosecutor to determine any applicable charges.”
Stunned spectators watch as Ryan Zebley falls to the grass at the end of Monday’s game
Adams claimed he ‘immediately felt terrible’ after shoving the man identified as Ryan Zebley
Adams apologized to the media after the game.
“He jumped ahead of me when he came off the field,” Adams said. “I pushed him a little bit. He landed on the ground. I want to apologize to him for that. That was just frustration mixed with him really just running ahead of me.
“I shouldn’t have reacted that way, but that’s how I reacted. I want to apologize to him for that.’
Adams also apologized on Twitter.
“Sorry for the man I knocked over after the game,” he tweeted. “Obviously very frustrated with the way the game ended and when he ran in front of me when I left, that was my reaction and I immediately felt terrible. I’m not..MY APOLOGIES man, I hope you see this.’
But not everyone accepted the apology from Adams, who seemed unconcerned at the time. One response on Twitter read: ”’I felt bad right away”, but I passed it on as if it meant nothing.”
Another said: ‘Garbage apology on social media. That’s so you try not to look bad to the fans. Too late. You pushed someone down who was trying to do their job. I think if I’m having a bad day I should push the barista down as they walk in front of me and then just post a sorry on Twitter.”
Another follower wrote: ‘If you immediately felt terrible, why didn’t you help him and apologize right away? You walked right past him with a flick of your wrist like WTH guy. You may want to keep working on that humility. PS you can always find that guy and apologize directly to him.’
Adams was brought to Las Vegas in March, reunited with his college quarterback, Derek Carr, and signed a $141.2 million five-year deal with the Raiders.
The two-time All-Pro has 29 receptions and five touchdowns in five games, but the Raiders are a disappointing 1-4 on the year.
The Raiders have since signed veteran receiver Albert Wilson while Adams awaits his league penalty.
A number of fans were not impressed by Adams’s apology on Twitter