Ravens' John Harbaugh Says He Hasn't Heard from NFL Regarding Mask Argument

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2020

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh stands on the field before an NFL football game Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The NFL has yet to reach out to Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh regarding the moment in which he lowered his face mask to argue with a referee during the Ravens' 34-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday.

"I understand that we're all chasing perfection," Harbaugh said, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "We try to be as perfect as we can. It's a pretty hard standard to hold other people to. But you try to do the best you can. That's all I really have to say about it."

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network shared an email from Scott Green, executive director of the NFL Referees Association, to NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent.

"Under the current COVID-19 environment and protocols we are all dealing with, it was completely out of line for Coach Harbaugh to remove his mask and verbally confront our official," Green wrote. "His behavior was in direct violation with statements and instructions the League has made an effort to ensure the safety of players and officials."

In the first quarter against Kansas City, Harbaugh lowered his face covering while arguing to line judge Mark Steinkerchner.

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In his 13th season as the Ravens head coach, Harbaugh made the case after the game that it was unreasonable to expect a coach to wear his mask in the proper fashion for an entire game.

The NFL has fined a three head coaches for failing to mask-related issues. Denver's Vic Fangio, Seattle's Pete Carroll and San Francisco's Kyle Shanahan received a $100,000 fine, and their teams were subject to a $250,000 fine.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Vincent subsequently sent a memo to coaches, general managers and other team executives. Vincent said the league was prepared to "address lack of compliance with accountability measures that may include ... suspensions and/or forfeiture of draft picks."

The Tennessee Titans were the first team to experience a COVID-19 outbreak since the start of the regular season. A number of positive tests forced league officials to postpone Tennessee's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, originally scheduled for Sunday, to Week 7. That also pushed the Steelers game at Baltimore to Week 8.