U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

KC photographer shoved to ground by NFL player after game

Incident Details

October 10, 2022

Photographer Park Zebley was shoved to the ground by Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams after a Monday Night Football game in Kansas City, Missouri, on Oct. 10, 2022.

In footage published by SportsCenter and shared widely, Adams can be seen pushing Zebley with two hands following a 30-29 Raiders loss.

When reached by email, Zebley declined to comment and referred the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker to his attorney, Dan Curry. Curry said Zebley is a college student who had just started working for a local production company that provides content to ESPN. He did not identify the name of the production company.

In a written statement, Curry said it was the photographer’s first day on the job and he had been given the task of carrying equipment for a camera operator.

After arranging transportation to the hospital, Zebley filed a police report with the Kansas City Police Department. In an emailed statement to the Tracker, a KCPD spokesperson said Zebley’s injuries were thought to be non-life threatening and the incident is being investigated.

Zebley’s attorney confirmed that the photographer suffered a headache, whiplash and was still recovering from a concussion.

After the incident, Adams apologized for his behavior, saying he was frustrated by the loss and was surprised when Zebley “jumped” in front of him, ESPN reported.

A Kansas City Municipal Court public information officer told the Tracker that Adams was charged with assault under a city ordinance on Oct. 12. According to the ordinance, he faces up to six months of jail time or a fine of up to $500. The citation, also shared with the Tracker by KCPD, identifies him as Ryan Zebley. His attorney said Park is his name.

The Raiders receiver is also facing possible suspension from the NFL, according to ESPN. He is scheduled to appear in Kansas City Municipal Court on Nov. 10.

“What happened was egregiously unsportsmanlike and an act of violence that should not be excused by the NFL,” Zebley said in a statement provided by his attorney.

Editor’s note: The article was updated with a clarifying statement from a Kansas City Municipal Court public information officer around the type of assault. Davante Adams was charged under a city ordinance, not a state statute as previously reported.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected]