Refs penalize 49ers’ Bruce Ellington for lightly tossing ball at opponent

When refs announced an unsportsmanlike conduct on 49ers WR Bruce Ellington for “throwing the football at” a member of the Rams after fair catching a punt, we thought we were going to see something juicy on the replay. We saw this:

I think everybody agrees that athletes shouldn’t be allowed to angrily chuck things at their opponents, including the ball of the game they were playing. As enjoyable as it was to watch Chris Dudley flip out and hurl a ball at Shaq’s back after getting dunked on, we can all agree it’s unsportsmanlike and uncalled for and could lead to unnecessary injury, if the ball is thrown hard enough.

But Ellington tossed it. He tossed it lightly. He tossed it so lightly that the Rams player easily caught the ball after it softly ricocheted off his chest, with no flinching or recoiling after getting hit by the ball.

The penalty was within 15 yards of San Francisco’s end zone, so it was only a 5-yard penalty, but, still!

I think someone needs to have a chat with Jameis Winston, after he made what appeared to be an inappropriate comment while speaking to an elementary school classroom earlier this week. Winston empowered the boys in the room, telling them they were “strong,” and that they’d accomplish anything they wanted in life, then adding “but the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle.” Twitter immediately jumped on Winston for the word “silent,” in particular, and Winston later said that he used poor word choice. The word “silent” is bad, but this goes beyond that. Speech like this basically implies that men and women are not equal and are defined by these gender roles, and Winston is saying all of this to elementary school students. According to the Tampa Bay Times, one girl in the class turned to a teacher and said, “I’m strong too.”3