DeAngelo Hall says official ‘was equally at fault’ during Sunday’s incident

DeAngelo Hall’s encounter with an official. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, facing a possible suspension by the NFL for an incident involving an official late in Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh, said in a radio interview Tuesday that the official “was equally at fault” and was “dishing it out just as much as I’m dishing it out.”

The league declined to comment through a spokesman about Hall’s apparent suggestion that head linesman Dana McKenzie was verbally abusive of him.

The NFL is reviewing the incident and, according to a person familiar with the situation, all disciplinary options will be considered for Hall, including a suspension or fine. Hall was ejected from the game Sunday.

Hall made his comments Tuesday during an appearance on the “LaVar and Dukes” show on 106.7 The Fan.

“From that particular camera angle you can’t see what that ref’s saying to me,” Hall said. “So it looks like I’m just out there giving him a piece of my mind and he’s smiling and walks away. And that’s not the case at all. He’s dishing it out just as much as I’m dishing it out.”

Hall reiterated that he is seeking a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the incident. The league offices in New York were closed for a second straight day Tuesday because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

“That’s the point of view that I’m trying to get out and we’re trying to get out, my team of guys,” Hall said. “That’s why we want to sit down with the commissioner. … We want to tell our side of the story, just like them. It shouldn’t be a situation where he’s saying I said one thing, I’m telling you I said this and it’s he said, she said. I’m not a criminal. I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I’m a great guy. Like I said, off the field I’m a different person, you know what I mean, than I am on the field. … We’re just trying to get every point of view, make sure we get as much proof as possible that happened in that situation and bring it to the forefront so we can come up with the right solution handed down to both sides.”

Hall also suggested the NFL Players Association is involved. The players’ union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hall said he would take back the incident if he could.

“Looking back on it, you’d obviously change everything, you know what I mean?” he said. “That’s kind of how it works in society. If you could go back and change things, you would. But there’s nothing I can do to take that particular play back or what happened after the fact. All we can do from my point of view and from the referee’s point of view, and the NFL and NFLPA, is try to figure out a solution so that problem doesn’t happen again.

“It’s not a system in place where.  …they’re the good cops and we’re the criminals. It has to be an even playing field, a level playing field. If they want us to go out there and respect them, they have to do the same thing. They have to give us the same kind of respect that I feel like we’ve been giving them as players and as referees that ultimately control some of the calls in these games. Nobody is going out there trying to bully the referees and likewise, they shouldn’t be out there trying to bully us.”

Hall took off his helmet and yelled and gestured at McKenzie. He appeared to use profanities.

Hall did not mention McKenzie by name during Tuesday’s radio interview. He said the incident occurred after he was “slammed” by Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders at the end of a play. Hall said he thought it was “a cheap shot.”

He also said: “The receiver went to block me. I went to block him right back, just as hard as him. Then I continued to get kind of the back of my helmet pulled up.  …The receiver still gets in my face and tries to, you know, talk trash. I immediately walk away from him, start talking to the ref.  …I’m just asking him like, ‘Did you not see what just took place right there?’ … For me to walk away from that incident and plead with the ref and beg like, ‘Dude, what do I have to do to get a flag? The dude just slammed me. Nothing happened. I don’t understand what you’re looking at. If you’re going to try to keep this game safe and the way it’s supposed to be played, there’s no way that particular play shouldn’t have drawn a flag.’

“As far as the helmet coming off and all that, he had already pulled my helmet halfway off and  … we called a timeout. So helmets can come off during timeouts. So that wasn’t why I got flagged for the helmet off and things like that. It was just a back and forth between me and that particular ref. And I can’t go into too many details because it’s still under review. But that’s kind of how it took place. If you look at the TV copy, you can only see me. That’s why we’re trying to get other copies and other angles so you can see both sides. But me and the ref was equally at fault on that particular play.”

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday during a conference call with reporters that he felt Sanders should have been penalized and the incident would have ended there, in Shanahan’s view. But Shanahan also faulted Hall for his conduct toward the official. Shanahan declined to comment Monday on Hall’s outburst and refused to say whether the team would take disciplinary action, saying he would wait until after the league’s review concludes before addressing that.

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