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Bobby Wagner trucks protestor carrying pink flare during Rams-49ers game

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An evening of protest ended violently in a Monday night game between the Los Angeles Rams and the host San Francisco 49ers.

Seconds before the end of the first half, a man ran onto the Levis Stadium field with a pink smoke flare. He ran over the 30-yard line during the break of play to the Rams touchline. This turned out to be a bad decision.

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As yellow-clad security personnel struggled to keep up, a pair of Rams defenders saw their opportunity. The protester ended up on the field when he reached the touchline in front of the Rams bench. Defensive end Takkarist McKinley has struck. He chased the protester right into the path of All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, who pushed him onto the turf.

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The ESPN cameras shot from a closer angle, much to the delight of Peyton and Eli Manning.

The guards then escorted the man off the field. His fate from there was not immediately clear. After the game, Wagner explained his calling to take on the role of security guard.

“He looked like he shouldn’t have been on the field,” Wagner said. “I saw that the security service had a little problem. So I helped him.”

A protester is hit by Los Angeles Rams defenseman Takkarist McKinley (middle left) and linebacker Bobby Wagner during the first half of an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Rams in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3.  2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vésquez)
Los Angeles Takkarist McKinley and Bobby Wagner fight a Monday night protester in Santa Clara, California at a Rams-49ers game. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez)

Although the protester was more painful than he probably wanted, he probably got the attention he was looking for. A photo provided by KNBR shows a man in a shirt reading, a site that claims its goal is to “raise awareness of whistleblowers who face jail time for exposing farm abuse.”

Meanwhile, affiliate group Direct Action Everywhere took credit for the stunt in social networks. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because this isn’t her first foray into the world of sports.

The group made headlines in April when a protester was glued to the floor at a Minnesota Timberwolves game wearing a T-shirt that read “Glen Taylor roasts animals alive.” Taylor is the outgoing owner of the Timberwolves who also owned a chicken farm. 5.3 million chickens were culled during the bird flu outbreak.. A few days later, another fan chained herself to a basket during another Timberwolves home game.

The same group claimed responsibility for a two-man protest during the NFL season-opening game between the Rams and the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. As on Monday, these fans were running around the field with pink smoke bombs. Though they didn’t meet the same violent end.


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