American Football: NFL ban for Brown

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The Independent Online
THE NATIONAL Football League has banned Orlando Brown, the Cleveland Browns' offensive lineman, indefinitely for shoving a referee to the ground during the Browns' match with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Brown was accidentally hit in the eye by a weighted penalty flag and pushed referee Jeff Triplette to the pitch. He then stood menacingly over the official before being restrained by team-mates.

Brown, whose father is blind, has been in hospital receiving treatment for an eye injury. Doctors have informed the player he may have permanent vision damage.

The NFL commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, said: "We continue to hope Orlando Brown makes a full recovery from his injury. However, as everyone has acknowledged, the injury to the player was completely inadvertent and did not justify his action against the referee. It was an unfortunate accident but we cannot condone under any circumstances physical contact against our game officials."