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Ejected for allegedly spitting on Raiders player, Steelers’ Trai Turner says he was spat on by opponent first

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There was a lot of drama between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders during and following Sunday’s game. It began when Steelers’ Najee Harris scored a touchdown to put Pittsburgh within two points of the Raiders in the fourth. On the scoring play, Steelers offensive lineman Trai Turner allegedly spit on Las Vegas Raiders defender Marquel Lee.

That led to Turner being ejected from the game, which the Steelers wound up losing, 26-17. The tiff also resulted in two unsportsmanlike penalties, as, after the apparent spit, Raiders defensive tackle Solomon Thomas shoved Turner.

Turner says he did not start the fight, however, and claims that he was spit on first. After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained his side. Here’s what the Pittsburgh coach said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Somebody spit in his face. I understand the 15-yard penalties and so forth, gaining control of the game and stuff, but Trai is not a young guy. He’s not overly emotional. He’s a flat-liner. For him to respond the way he responded, what transpired had to transpire, and I was stating that case to [the referees].”

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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Turner told the QB an opponent spit on him.

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“I didn’t catch the very, very beginning of it, but just in talking to him, he said he got spit on,” Big Ben said. “He didn’t like that, which I understand and respect as a man, and he went and tried to say something to the guy that spit on him.”

On the other side, the story is different.

Thomas explained what he saw, saying, “From my vantage point, I saw one of their players try to spit on one of my teammates. And he was charging them, so I wanted to kind of separate it.”

“I got called for unsportsmanlike when I thought I was separating it,” he continued. “I’ve just got to protect my teammates, and you never want to see another guy spit on your guys or charge them and try to fight them.”

Regardless of what happened, the Raiders got the final word, because with their win they are now 2-0.


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