This whole thing seems entirely over blown to me and the reactions are just like I predicted, people acting like babies & puppies were stomped on the field. Garrett isn't some psycho killer that should be banished from the league, fights 10x worse than this happen in hockey all the time. I like the passion and ensuing rivalry that will be inflamed by this event but everyone will squelch those passions as the talking heads somberly look on this silly fight as some sort of atrocity.
I guess I'm screwed up because that was some of the most exciting few moments in the NFL I've seen in years and I'm BORED by the post facto judgement and outrage, what's wrong with me?
The oft-suspended linebacker blasted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a profanity-laced review of the appeals process.
Exclusive: Exiled Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict weighs in on Myles Garrett — and blasts the NFL
By Vic Tafur Nov 15, 2019
Suspended Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict doesn’t want to hear any comparisons of himself to Myles Garrett hitting a player with a helmet.
Garrett, the Cleveland Browns defensive end, was suspended on Friday for the last six games of this season and perhaps beyond after striking Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with Rudolph’s helmet Thursday night.
Burfict can relate on at least some level. He was suspended for final 12 games and any potential playoff games after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle on Sept. 29.
But there’s a key difference, he said.
“The NFL had to suspend somebody for that last night, since that wasn’t a football act,” Burfict said in a phone interview with The Athletic on Friday afternoon. “My suspension was a football act. I was hitting somebody. I wasn’t taking a helmet off and swinging it at somebody.”
Burfict was watching the game with his daughters and turned off the television right after Garrett connected and the Steelers linemen responded by charging at him.
“I don’t want them to see that,” Burfict said. “Because that’s not what I do. That’s not part of football. I hit people on the field during the game. And they say that’s dirty, yeah, whatever. I get hit, too, during the games, so don’t complain. It’s football, bro.”
Burfict spoke publicly for the first time about his own suspension, the longest ever given by the NFL for on-field actions. During that Week 4 game, Doyle had a knee on the turf when he caught the pass and appeared to be making a motion to get up when Burfict lowered his helmet and hit him.
“It was bullshit,” Burfict said. “I was making a football play. I could see if it was a fine or something, but not a suspension, let alone for the whole season. It kind of seems like there was a target on my head. I mean, there has always been a target on my head.”
Burfict said officials have been going to his coaches before games for years.
“They tell them, ‘Hey, Vontaze can’t push the receiver past five yards.’ And things like that throughout the season,” Burfict said. “So it makes you play cautious. … But then, when offensive linemen hit me in the head or push me late, you don’t see them getting fined. Or warned. And you don’t see me running to the media to complain. It’s football.
“But when people get hit by me, they fear me. And that picture is painted through the media. And on social media.”
Burfict said he has accepted that.
“Football is football, and my family is my life, so if people portray me as that, so be it,” Burfict said. “But I have seen other guys do crazier stuff than what I did, and I see that they get a slap on the wrist.”
After he was ejected from the Colts game, Burfict blew kisses to the Indianapolis crowd on his way to the locker room. It was viewed not only as a lack of remorse, but almost as celebrating his role as villain. Burfict said he was just killing the fans with kindness, and again mentioned his daughters, ages 4 and 2.
He doesn’t regret blowing kisses.
“Nah, because it was already bullshit, getting thrown out of the game,” Burfict said. “I could have done way more, bro. I could have done way more than just run off the field. I could have raised hell. I could have done what old boy whatever his name is did last night. Raised hell, used my fists whatever. But I just ran off and I was getting flipped off and getting shit thrown on me. The crowd was talking a lot of shit, but I just blew kisses.
“I wanted to show to my daughters that I was OK, because I knew they were watching on TV. ‘There goes Daddy leaving the field …’ and I was not beating anybody up, like they were last night.”
Burfict said that officials often try to get a reaction out of him while prepared to hand out a resulting penalty.
“There have been times in games when a ref is cussing at me and wanting me to cuss back at him so he can throw me out of the game,” Burfict said. “Come on, bro. I don’t want to be out there playing against the refs and the opposing team.”
Burfict, 29, has been suspended four times in his career and fined numerous times for what many call dirty hits. But the Raiders signed him this offseason because he can still play and is close with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. One of the reasons the Raiders are so mad about the suspension is because not only do they think it was excessive, but there was no warning.
“Does it make any sense to sign a guy where, after one infraction, he’s going to get thrown out of the league for the year?” Guenther said last month. “No, it doesn’t.”
Burfict said the league never told him that the next infraction was going to be his last.
“They didn’t, and it really doesn’t matter,” Burfict said. “I see other players make that same kind of play on a daily basis. It was a witch hunt. They were watching everything I do. They watched 171 of my plays this year. Tell me if they watched 171 plays of that linebacker from the Chargers, what’s his name, Thomas Davis? Go witch hunt him.”
The league reviewed all of Burfict’s plays this season after he appealed the 12-game suspension.
“I met (commissioner) Roger Goodell in New York and he was a total bitch,” Burfict said. “He was a bitch. He didn’t let anybody speak, he rushed us in and out of the meeting. The meeting was bullshit. He already had the suspension in his hand.”
Burfict presented video of clean plays that he had made, plus dirty plays against him that weren’t called and that he didn’t retaliate to.
“They didn’t give a fuck about that shit,” Burfict said.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr spoke on Burfict’s behalf during a conference call.
“That meant a lot to me, but the NFL didn’t give a fuck about that shit either,” he said. “Derek Carr, my guy, said his piece about how I was a captain and a great teammate and not a dirty player, and (appeals officer) Derrick Brooks almost cut him off. He said we appreciate you coming on the call, but they didn’t need Derek Carr to vouch for me.
“Brooks made his mind up already. They let me know before I woke up the next day. They didn’t even go in the office, make some coffee and discuss it for a few minutes.”
If Burfict has no time for the NFL brass, he has less time for the media. It took him weeks to agree to this interview.
“This fight happened last night and my name pops up everywhere,” he said. “C’mon, bro. It’s always a bad picture being painted. It’s never about me going to the Ronald McDonald House to help the kids. It’s always negative. So I just give two fucks. Excuse my language. … They tell me to go talk to the media and change your image, but what’s done is done. I can’t change anybody’s opinion.
“Most of the reporters are white people and think I am a thug. I can’t change all of those images.”
Burfict was actually hoping for a fresh start with a new team. And he said he was playing flag-free football before the hit on Doyle.
“And then I get kicked out for one flag,” he said.
Say what you want about Burfict, but it’s clear he has a passion for football. And he is dealing with his exile the best way he can.
“They are trying to end my career,” Burfict said. “But football is football, it’s not my life. I don’t miss the game at all. I am chilling. I miss my teammates … but I can’t let this control my life. Bro, let somebody else deal with what I dealt with and they would have done some crazy shit. I had a good career. If they wanted me to leave this badly, I wish they would have just asked me nicely.”
Burfict stops to ask if Rudolph was suspended. I told him that he wasn’t.
“See, that’s bullshit,” Burfict said. “He wasn’t doing a football act trying to pull that guy’s helmet off, but whatever. I don’t really care about that situation, to be honest with you.”
Burfict said he doesn’t watch football anymore, except for occasional Raiders and AFC North games, since he was a Bengal for the first seven years of his career.
“I honestly think some of the games are rigged,” Burfict said. “The refs pick and choose when they want to throw their flags. There are flags on every play. The refs determine the outcomes of games, so I just chose not to watch it for the most part.”
The Raiders are playing the Bengals on Sunday, and Cincinnati reporters asked Gruden about both teams’ former player on Wednesday.
“I’m appalled by (the suspension), ticked off by it, but what can I do?” Gruden said in a conference call. “He came in and did everything we asked him to do. What happened to him was unprecedented in the history of football and I hope someday we get to coach him again.”
Burfict said to plan on it.
“Yeah, I’m coming back,” he said, “The NFL can’t kick me out like that. They are going to have to kill me. I am too strong for that. …
“I didn’t do shit wrong, I hit a tight end. It could have been a fine, whoopy-de-doo. But there’s people out there assaulting people with helmets. That’s an assault with a deadly weapon.”
REPORT: NFL Plans To Fine “About 10 Players” For Their Involvement In The Steelers-Browns Brawl
By Randy Oliver
November 17, 2019
Following the wild brawl on Thursday Night Football between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, we found out that Myles Garrett was suspended indefinitely, Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for 3 games and Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for a game.
Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was also fined.
But the NFL isn’t done handing down fines. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL will be issuing fines to roughly 10 players for leaving the bench area and running onto the field:
ASIDE FROM THE FINES DOLED OUT TO QUARTERBACK MASON RUDOLPH AND OTHER PARTICIPANTS IN THURSDAY NIGHT’S UGLY BRAWL BETWEEN THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS AND CLEVELAND BROWNS, THE NFL WILL BE ISSUING MASS FINES TO ABOUT 10 PLAYERS FOR LEAVING THE BENCH AREA AND RUNNING ON THE FIELD, LEAGUE SOURCES TOLD ESPN.
LEAGUE OFFICIALS STILL ARE PORING OVER THE VIDEO TO DETERMINE HOW MANY PLAYERS WILL GET FINED — THE NFL FIRST WANTED TO DISCIPLINE THE MAIN PERPETRATORS — BUT IT IS EXPECTED TO BE A LENGTHY LIST, WITH THE FINES BEING DOLED OUT NEXT WEEKEND, ACCORDING TO A SOURCE.
THE NFL’S 2019 FINE SCHEDULE CALLS FOR PLAYERS WHO UNNECESSARILY ENTER THE FIGHT AREA WITH NO ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT TO BE FINED $3,507 FOR A FIRST OFFENSE AND $10,527 FOR A SECOND OFFENSE.
Following the wild brawl on Thursday Night Football between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, we found out that Myles Garrett was suspended indefinitely, Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for 3 games and Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for a game. Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was also fined...
Rudolph, in the second year of his rookie deal, has a base salary of $658,267, which means his weekly check is $38,721.59. He has said that he'd accept any discipline from the NFL, but Rudolph can appeal to have the fine reduced under league rules if it is deemed "excessive when compared to the player's expected earnings for the season in question."
Garrett was suspended indefinitely and fined for ripping off and swinging Rudolph's helmet, hitting the quarterback in the head with it, with seconds remaining in the Thursday night game on Nov. 14. Rudolph initially tussled with Garrett on the ground and then charged at him after Garrett forcibly removed his helmet.
"For my involvement last week, there's no acceptable excuse," Rudolph said in a prepared statement Wednesday. "The bottom line is I should've done a better job keeping my composure in that situation and [not] fall short of what I believe it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and a member of the NFL."
Sources told ESPN that Garrett alleged during his appeal hearing with the NFL that Rudolph directed a racial slur at him just prior to the brawl -- a claim that Rudolph has vehemently denied. The NFL said Thursday that it "found no such evidence" that a slur was used.
The NFL is expected to issue fines to about 10 players for leaving the bench area and running onto the field, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Sunday. A source told ESPN's Jake Trotter on Thursday that Garrett was fined $45,623.
Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement says players can appeal an excessive fine "only if it exceeds 25 percent of one week of a player's salary for a first offense, and 50 percent of one week of a player's salary for a second offense."
Earlier in the week, appeals officer Derrick Brooks reduced the suspension of center Maurkice Pouncey from three games to two and upheld his $35,096 fine. Pouncey punched and kicked Garrett during the brawl.
Appeals officer James Thrash upheld the indefinite suspension for Garrett and a one-game ban for Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who shoved Rudolph in the back.
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