Editor’s Note: After Sunday afternoon’s brawl between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sparked by Tampa’s Mike Evans and New Orleans’ Marshon Lattimore (who were both ejected and have scrapped before), former NFL receiver and The 33rd Team analyst Golden Tate sat down to offer a veteran’s perspective on the incident.
I came across the Mike Evans-Marshon Lattimore situation today, and I understand there’s a lot of aggression between these two teams, and also those guys specifically. Lattimore and Evans have past incidents of being scrappy. Being honest, these two teams are also likely going to win the NFC South year-in, year-out. So this is a big game.
Watching the incident, it seemed real personal between Evans and Lattimore. And to be honest, I don’t have a problem with what Lattimore did, and I don’t think he should’ve been ejected. I don’t know what happened earlier in the game, maybe both of them already received warnings and were pushing the line.
But from what I saw in that specific incident, I don’t have a problem with Lattimore getting in Tom Brady’s face or getting chirpy with Leonard Fournette. Ultimately, Evans came off the sideline and shoved that man to the ground on national TV. I’m not sure how anyone reacts to that situation any differently than Lattimore did, and he shouldn’t have been ejected. Evans is the homie, but from what I could see, him getting tossed was probably the right call.
I get it, though. We play a very aggressive sport, and a lot of us go to a very dark place when we step on the field. It is what it is. It’s OK to flirt with the line, but you can’t cross it. And from my understanding, Mike Evans crossed a line.
Personally, I’m going to get my team any advantage I possibly can by flirting with that line. But I’m going to do my best to never jeopardize my team with a penalty hopefully, and I’m definitely not going to jeopardize my pockets. I am not going to pay the NFL any more money than I already have to.
You have to be more mindful, but that was a tough situation that felt very personal, to say the least.