Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans flatly denied he was signing an autograph for a referee after the team’s loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Evans spoke to the media on Tuesday ahead of the Buccaneers’ game against the Baltimore Ravens and was asked about the interaction.
“I wasn’t signing my autograph, I’ll tell you that. I talk to a lot of officials – we’re all human beings,” the star wide receiver said. “He’s a nice guy, so we were just talking about, you know, golf. That’s all we were talking about.”
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He went on to downplay the incident, brushing it off as no big deal.
“It wasn’t that serious,” he added. “You know, someone with a camera was just recording us and I [saw] them recording us, too. It wasn’t a big deal at all. There was nothing there.”
Earlier Tuesday, the NFL debunked claims that Evans was signing an autograph.
“After speaking with the individuals involved, we have confirmed the postgame interaction between Jeff Lamberth, Tripp Sutter, and Mike Evans did not involve a request by the game officials for an autograph,” the league said.
NFL DEBUNKS CLAIMS GAME OFFICIALS ASKED BUCS’ MIKE EVANS FOR AUTOGRAPH: REPORT
“Both 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 gameday – including during the pregame and postgame time periods.”
Sources told the NFL Network that Lamberth wanted to get Evans’ number so he could pass it along to a golf pro who could give the star wideout lessons. Both Evans and the official are Texas A&M alumni.
Lamberth reportedly asked the other official for paper.
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.