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Marshal Yanda vehemently denies spitting on Vontaze Burfict

Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda has vehemently denied spitting on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the midst of a scrum that broke out during the teams’ Week 11 game.

“For the record, I was accused of spitting on a player,” Yanda said Wednesday, per a tweet from The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “I would never, ever spit on another person. That’s not how I was raised.

“… That spit hit he ground 100 percent. It didn’t hit anybody.”

Yanda expressed regret that his integrity and character have been called into question.

“It’s a terrible deal. I’m not happy I’m involved in it for sure,” Yanda added. “I just know in my heart, I’d never spit on anybody.”

Yanda’s insistence that no such incident occurred during the Ravens’ 24-21 victory comes despite the presence of video evidence that shows him at the very least expectorating in Burfict’s vicinity.

A Ravens spokesperson indicated Monday that Yanda “did not spit on anyone.” Head coach John Harbaugh echoed that sentiment on Monday as well.

“This guy has been playing 11 years and played at the University of Iowa, for whoever wrote the article that makes the insinuation, have you ever heard of Marshal Yanda’s character being attacked or him doing something along those lines ever in his whole career?” Harbaugh said, via ESPN. “But now all of a sudden, we’re going to say, ‘Oh, I know Marshal Yanda spit at somebody.’ Really? Come on, there’s no way.”

Burfict has no shortage of troubling on-field incidents that have earned him the reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL who conceivably could elicit the kind of response of which Yanda has been accused. That said, the passion exhibited by Yanda, not to mention Harbaugh, in denying such an act occurred certainly makes a compelling case that no ill will was intended.