Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams is being sued by camera operator after they had an altercation last October after a game against the Chiefs in Kansas City.
Park Zebley claims he was diagnosed with concussion symptoms and that he feared for his life in the aftermath of being shoved to the ground by Adams as he was leaving Arrowhead Stadium.
The civil lawsuit was filed by Zebley in the Jackson County Circuit Court this month. Zebley, a 20-year-old University of Missouri-Kansas City student, was working for a production company that was contracted by ESPN to cover the game when he and Adams crossed paths immediately after the Raiders’ loss to the Chiefs. As they did, video footage captured Adams pushing Zebley to the ground.
Adams, who was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault in Kansas City municipal court, faces a June 26th court date on that charge.
On the civil side, Zebley is seeking monetary damages.
“We’re in the beginning stages of this,” his attorney, Dan Curry, told the Kansas City Star, “But (Zebley) is looking for compensation for what happened to him, and if a jury has to decide, then that’s who’ll decide.”
Adams, the Raiders, the Chiefs, Jackson County Sports Complex Authority and Landmark Event Staffing Services were all named in the lawsuit. According to the Kansas City Star, the suit alleges battery by Adams, liability by the Raiders as his employer and negligence on the part of the Chiefs, Jackson County Sports Complex Authority and Landmark Events Staffing.
The Raiders did not respond to a request for comment.
In the complaint, it is alleged that in the days that followed the incident, which went viral on television and social media, the “media and various fans of the Las Vegas Raiders and Adams discovered (Zebley’s) identity, circulated his contact information and made death threats against him, as well as other generally vile comments. (Zebley) felt concerned for his own safety and sought counseling and stayed away from his apartment.”
The incident occurred immediately after the Raiders’ hotly contested 30-29 loss to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Adams scored two touchdowns in the game, but the Raiders blew a 17-0 lead and on their final offensive play of the game, Adams and Hunter Renfrow ran into each other as both raced down the field tracking a long pass from Derek Carr.
As a result, both players fell to the ground, negating what appeared to be the potential of either a long touchdown or a completion that would have put the Raiders in field goal range.
Instead, the fourth-down pass fell incomplete, the Chiefs ultimately ran out the clock and a frustrated Adams retreated to the sideline before making his way to the locker room.
It was on that walk off the field that he crossed paths with Zebley. Afterward, Adams began his postgame media session by apologizing.
“I want to say sorry for that,” he said. “That was just frustration mixed with him literally just running in front of me.”
Adams explained that as he was leaving the field, someone ran directly into his path and the two bumped into each other. Adams reacted by pushing him to the ground.
“Shouldn’t have responded that way,” Adams said. “But that’s how I initially responded, so I want to apologize to him for that.”
He also tweeted an apology later that night in which he said:
“Sorry to the guy I pushed over after the game. Obviously very frustrated at the way the game ended and when he ran in front of me as I exited that was my reaction and I felt horrible immediately. That’s not me. MY APOLOGIES man hope you see this.”