A team-brawl broke out late in the fourth quarter between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns during the NFL’s Week 11 Thursday Night Football game. While the Browns were positioned to essentially guarantee victory, Myles Garret, the Brown’s star defensive end, made a questionable hit against the Steeler’s quarterback, Mason Rudolph. The hit angered Rudolph and he continued scuffling with Garret.
Rudolph’s center, Maurkice Pouncey, was trying to separate the two. But then, Garret ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and swung at him, nailing Rudolpho on the crown of his head with the bottom of the helmet. All hell broke loose afterward.
Players from both teams faced punishment. Garrett received the harshest penalty—a full-season suspension without pay. Maurkice Pouncey received a three-game suspension. Brown’s defensive end, Larry Ogunjobi, received a one-game suspension. Rudolph was fined an undisclosed amount. Both teams were fined $250,000. The NFL released a statement conveying that any player who left the sideline will be subjected to discipline.
Although some were calling for Garrett to receive a harsher punishment, the NFL fairly decided to suspend him for the remainder of this season without pay. However, the league’s dicey past with suspensions need to be further examined.
Incorrect Suspensions By The NFL
Garret’s suspension may be the first time in a while where the NFL can receive praise for actually punishing an athlete fairly and correctly. In the past, the NFL hasn’t punished athletes correctly; most notable is the NFL’s flub with punishing Ray Rice for domestic violence.
Rice was initially suspended two games, but, after video of the incident was released, he was cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Although he was later reinstated by the league, Rice has not played in another game since his suspension.
Yes, there is still debate over Tom Brady’s role in Deflategate. Brady was initially suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season, but successfully appealed and became eligible to play later in the season. However, the NFL suspended Brady for the first four games of the 2016 season. He was unsuccessful in appealing that suspension.
Why These Two Suspensions Matter
Essentially, by suspending Brady for only four games, initially and after his unsuccessful appeal, the NFL conveyed the message that allegedly deflating footballs is worse than domestic violence. This comparison, undoubtedly, is a low-point of Roger Goodell’s tenure as commissioner. According to USA Today, Brady could have avoided punishment had he blamed two Patriots employees for the debacle.
However, due to Brady and Rice’s suspensions, the league’s reputation when it comes to punishment has been tainted and will likely remain that way until new leadership. For now, the NFL got one right with the Myles Garrett situation.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.