Or does it?
Lin-J Shell said no. Agustin Barrenechea said he got “sprayed in the face.”
The officials thought so too, and the Argonauts defensive back was ejected from Toronto’s 16-12 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday night at the Rogers Centre.
The incident in question came after DeAndra’ Cobb scored the lone touchdown of the game, a major that gave the Ticats a four-point lead with less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Shell and Barrenechea began arguing after the convert. An official was nearby, and threw the orange flag as the players separated.
An enraged Shell had to be escorted off the field by an Argos employee after he was tossed out for objectionable conduct and the Argos were assessed a 25-yard penalty.
“Just basically exchanging words, talking like you do in every situation in football, and the ref runs up and says I spit in his face,” Shell said. “You can check any guy I have ever played against, from Pop Warner all the way to my professional career ... even a man on the street, I won’t spit in anybody’s face.
“I was not raised like that and I wouldn’t do that. Hopefully when they see the film and they review it, they will notice he didn’t react. He didn’t react because I did not spit in his face. That’s not me, I don’t do that. I wouldn’t kill my teammates like that, and I would not disrespect my parents like that. I did not do it.”
The Ticats linebacker saw it differently. And Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said the spitting in the face “was how it was told to me.”
“If I had retaliated I would have got the penalty,” Barrenechea said. “It was just regular trash talking on the field. Nothing out of the ordinary. It escalated really quickly but it was fourth quarter, end of the game, emotions are running high and they just got scored on so they’re frustrated. It was just really more a reaction, I’m sure, than anything else and we were able to take advantage of it.”