Was this a legit penalty or did Cassius Marsh get hip-checked by the referee?

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Another awful taunting call by the refs was made against the Chicago Bears’ linebacker Cassius Marsh in Monday night’s 29-27 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, as he celebrated after sacking Ben Roethlisberger.

Marsh was excited as the play he made would have led to the Steelers punting the ball away with a 3-point lead late in the fourth quarter. He celebrated with a kick in the air and by looking towards the sidelines after that and got a little emotional during that celebration, but the ref thought he got carried away.

“First of all, keep in mind that taunting is a point of emphasis this year,” said referee Tony Corrente after the game. “I saw the player after he made a big play, run toward the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.”

And just moments after the celebration, another inexplicable situation happened when the same referee and Cassius Marsh made contact while Marsh was coming off the field, which led to Corrente throwing the flag, although many would say that the referee initiated the contact with his hip.

Marsh also thinks that this is the case, and here is what he had to say on that matter during the press conference after the game: “The one thing I will say is: On my way to the sideline, I got hip-checked by the ref. It’s pretty clear. If I were to do that to the ref or even touch the ref, we’d get kicked out of the game, and possibly suspended and fined. So, I just think that that was incredibly inappropriate.”

On the other side, Corrente said that he was unaware that the contact occurred and that, him throwing the flag, was only because of the taunting before: “That had nothing to do with it. It was the taunting aspect.”

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Whether this is true or not, the fact is that this call affected the game, as it was maybe an unnecessary late-game call, which cost the Bears a potential win.