An animal-rights activist interrupted Monday Night Football with a pink smoke bomb and got sacked by two players for blitzing the field, he filed a police report for assault the next day.
Los Angeles Rams’ linebackers Bobby Wagner and and Takkarist McKinley leveled a protester at Levi’s Stadium, after the man evaded security while running down the 40-yard-line from towards their team on the sideline.
Alex Taylor, who performed the illegal demonstration to highlight the trial of two factory farm whistleblowers, filed a police report for assault against both football players on Tuesday afternoon.
Wagner said that he was “aware” Taylor had filed the complaint when speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
“Everybody kind of told me, but it is what it is. I don’t know, it’s behind me. I ain’t really focused on it,” he explained. “I’m more concerned about the security guard that was hurt trying to chase him and the people that was… We don’t know what that is, and you just got to do what you got to do.”
After the game, the linebacker said he was upset when it looked looked like one of the security guards was injured in the pursuit.” I was frustrated, so I took it out on him,” Wagner remarked.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was gleeful about how the incident played out, after another protester had tried to run on the field with pink smoke earlier in the game, but did not make it onto the field.
“I saw Bobby Wagner take somebody out,” Shanahan commented. “That was kind of cool to see.”
The defensive player’s own coach, Sean McVay, believes his actions were justified. “I think that we all know where Bobby’s intentions were. I support Bobby Wagner, that’s where I’m at with that. I don’t think anybody would disagree,” he told reporters.
Wagner insisted that the impressive tackle was for the safety of players and fans at the game.
“That’s not making a play,” he detailed. “That’s just keeping it safe. You don’t know what that fan got or what they’re doing. You see it all the time, and we don’t know what they’re carrying in their pockets. It’s whatever that little smoke stuff is, but that s— could be dangerous.”
Animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere claimed responsibility for the stunt, which they claimed was to raise awareness for two investigators who are being tried on multiple felonies for whistle blowing on alleged animal abuse at Smithfield, a California factory farm.
“Smithfield will do anything to hide its abuses from the public because they know that if people saw what is happening inside factory farms, they would be horrified,” Taylor said about the subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate WH Group.
“They are going to great lengths to throw two of my friends in prison for years simply for investigating their farms and rescuing sick and dying piglets,” he continued. “I took action to raise awareness about the ongoing Smithfield trial.”
The animal activist group was responsible for disrupting the NBA Playoffs earlier this year, in protest of the death by suffocation of more than 5 million chickens at Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor’s factory farms.
One activist interrupted a play-in game between the Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers by gluing her hand to the court during the second quarter, and another chained herself to the hoop during game one of the Memphis Grizzlies and Timberwolves series.
The animal rights organization said that they were also behind the smoke flare stunt at the Buffalo Bill-Rams season opener last month, and claimed that one of the women responsible “sustained severe head trauma” when she was taken down by security and is considering legal action.
Taylor, who burned himself with the flare during his sprint across the field, is reportedly also considering his legal options.
“You never know what that person’s got in their pocket, their hands, whatever,” Wagner concluded. “Kind of like what I said after the game. So there’s consequences for your actions.”