The NFL said the two game officials seen in a video interacting with Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Evans were not asking for the wide receiver’s autograph.
After the Bucs’ loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in Charlotte, beaten Panthers writer Sheena Quick filmed the two officials in the stadium tunnel appearing to hand Evans a pen and paper. Evans paused momentarily and scribbled something.
The NFL released a statement Tuesday clearing officials of any wrongdoing.
“After speaking with those involved, we have confirmed that the post-match interaction between Jeff Lamberth, Tripp Sutter and Mike Evans did not involve a request for an autograph from match officials.
“Lamberth and Sutter have been reminded of the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety when interacting with players, coaches and club staff on match day – including during pre-game periods. -match and post-match.”
An NFL spokesperson wouldn’t comment further when asked what the interaction was about.
On Tuesday, Evans told reporters that he and Judge Lamberth were talking about golf.
“I wasn’t signing my autograph, I can tell you that. I talk to a lot of officials. We are all human beings. He’s a nice guy. That’s all. We were just talking about golf. That’s all we were talking about,” Evans said.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports the interaction centered on Lamberth getting Evans’ phone number to introduce the wide receiver to a golf pro for lessons.
The NFL has neither confirmed nor denied Pelissero’s account.
CNN has reached out to the NFL Referees Association for comment.