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Dre Greenlaw discusses ejection from 49ers-Eagles: “I’m not a dirty player”

Dec 6, 2023 at 2:13 PM--

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The NFL has not contacted Dre Greenlaw regarding the San Francisco 49ers linebacker's ejection from Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Both Greenlaw and the Eagles' head of security, Dom DiSandro, were forced to leave the field after engaging in a minor sideline scuffle.

Debate surrounds the incident, with most understanding why DiSandro was forced to leave. However, many question the decision to eject Greenlaw, considering DiSandro shouldn't have been in the mix in the first place.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged that Greenlaw deserved a penalty for the play leading to the altercation due to his tackling technique on wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Nevertheless, Shanahan doesn't believe an ejection was warranted.

"I was shocked," Shanahan said on Wednesday. "I stick up for Dre that he was put in a situation from somebody that didn't have to do with the game. That's what bothered me. When I look at him, I still don't think he punched him in the face, but whatever that was, it's not allowed. And you can't give anyone a doubt, especially in a physical game like that."

Greenlaw and DiSandro have moved past the incident, communicating through intermediaries to apologize to each other. Nonetheless, the outcome was disappointing.

"I felt like I shouldn't have been ejected, but I can't go back and say anything about it now," Greenlaw shared. "So they did their job. ... Honestly. I really hate that it even escalated and went to that. That's never something I have ever been a part of or seen in the game."

When asked if he is concerned about possibly earning a reputation as a dirty player, Greenlaw responded, "No, I ain't no dirty player. I'm not a dirty player. I play by the rules. Just because you tackle a little physical doesn't make you a dirty player."

Shanahan noted that Greenlaw did his best to ease up at the end of the tackle out of concern for the lighter Eagles player but emphasized that slamming a player is not allowed.

"Dre is not a dirty player at all," Shanahan said. "He plays one way, and that's why he was so frustrated because he is trying so hard not to break the rules. In his mind, he wasn't completely slamming a guy. His guy's three yards inbound, and he's trying his hardest to get him down. And everything he does is physical.

"And if you can see at the end, he tried to let up at the last second. It happened to be it was a lighter player, and Dre's pretty strong. Now, he should have been penalized for that. You can't slam a guy."

Greenlaw added, "Just got to be better in those situations. Don't want to hurt the team and don't want to cause flags and stuff like that, so just got to be smarter. It definitely can be avoided."

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