Referees' union complains about John Harbaugh lowering mask originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
In the era of COVID-19, even something as routine as an NFL head coach yelling at an official can be dangerous.
The NFL Referees Association wasn't happy with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh Monday night after he lowered his mask while in the face of an official.
Harbaugh was shown visibly irate during the game's broadcast, yelling at an official after a highly questionable tripping call that nullified a Ravens first down, putting the team in a 1st-and-20 hole.
To Harbaugh, the call was especially egregious after the NFL had gone to great lengths in the season's first three weeks to call fewer penalties of this nature. So it makes sense why he would be so upset.
Still, it's also understandable why "NFLRA Executive Director Scott Green complained about the incident to NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent", according to NFL Network. Nobody in any field wants to be in close quarters with another mask-less person right now, especially when that person is angrily yelling.
Pelissero also notes that the NFLRA is asking the NFL to make confronting an official without a mask an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. This would apply to players and coaches alike.
Harbaugh has already noted how he thinks it is impossible for coaches to keep their masks on for entire games. But if he wants to avoid the fines the NFL has been handing out to other mask-less coaches, he'll have to find a better way to keep his face covered in the heat of the moment.