Linebacker Bobby Wagner made a massive hit on an animal rights activist who invaded the field during the LA Rams’ loss against the San Francisco 49ers.
Earlier in the game, the Rams defense hadn’t been able to come close to getting a hit on Deebo Samuel but Wagner was on hand to tackle the invader to the ground.
The invader has been identified as animal rights activist Alex Taylor of the group Direct Action Everywhere.
The protest was designed to draw attention to the trial of two members of the group in Utah, where they are accused of stealing pigs.
The game was temporarily stopped as Taylor, carrying a purple flare, ran on the field with security chasing behind him.
The security staff struggled to keep up with Taylor leaving Wagner and teammate Takkarist McKinley decided to take matters into their own hands.
The pair had been stood on the sideline as they watched the spectator’s great escape unfold. As he passed them, the Rams players darted out in an attempt to bring him down.
McKinley came at Taylor from behind just as security had eventually caught up. He and the staff both made a move to catch the spectator but Wagner beat them to it.
Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner (right) made a massive hit on a fan who had invaded the field
Teammate Takkarist McKinley (left) also tried to bring the spectator down during the game
On Instagram, the group posted a photo of Allison Fluty and Alex Taylor showing their quotes for entering the field of play
Direct Action Everywhere is a grassroots protest organization that advertised the stunt on their Instagram page prior to it taking place.
Taylor was not alone, his partner in crime, Allison Fluty, was tackled by security before she could get to the field.
In a tweet from the DAE’s official account, the pair are ‘a bit beaten up but in good spirits.’ On Instagram, the group posted a photo of Fluty and Taylor showing their quotes for entering the field of play.
The post concluded: ‘They appreciate everyone’s outpouring of support and encourage folks to support the #righttorescue at righttorescue.com.’
The goal of the protest was to highlight the Smithfield Trial in which two members of the group, Paul Darwin Picklesimer and Wayne Hsiung, are accused of smuggling two piglets from the Circle Flour Farms in Utah in 2017.
Three other activists were charged in the case but took plea deals from prosecutors. The farm in question is owned by Smithfield Foods.
The trial began on Monday. Both Taylor and Fluty are from the Bay Area. The pair’s t-shirts read ‘RighttoRescue.’
Taylor said prior to the protest: ‘Smithfield will do anything to shield its abuses and protect its profits. We must take action to stop the violence and create a better future for us all.’
A month ago, two DAE activists disrupted the LA Rams opening game of the season against the Buffalo Bills. While earlier this year, the group interrupted a Minnesota Timberwolves game.
The spectator had evaded security staff (left) and invaded the field with a red flare
The veteran produced a massive hit on the invader, bringing him to the ground. Wagner then calmly stood up and strolled away from the scene.
Wagner spoke about the tackle after the game saying: ‘That’s not making a play. That’s just keeping it safe. You don’t know what that fan got or what they’re doing.
He went on: ‘You see it all the time, and we don’t know what they’re carrying in their pockets. It’s whatever that little smoke stuff is, but that s*** could be dangerous.’
The Super Bowl winner also said: ‘One of the guys on the other side, he looked like he got hurt, and security looked like he was struggling, so I was frustrated, so I took it out on him.’
While 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of the incident: ‘I saw Bobby Wagner take somebody out. That was kind of cool to see.’
The clip was not shown on the main ESPN coverage but it did make an appearance on Manningcast and both Peyton and Eli Manning enjoyed the action.
Peyton said: ‘That’s what we’re talking about. Wagner, a veteran. Right, get him down, now get out and let these guys take over.’
The incident came with 0:41 left on the clock in the second quarter as the Rams found themselves 6-14 down to the 49ers.