Should NFL players be held accountable?

Should defensive players be fined or suspended for high/low hits?

Rishi Datla, Author

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In the NFL recently, many players have come out to voice their opinions on whether defensive players should be held accountable for hits that are seen as “illegal”. Many of these players argue that it is full contact football and that is what all of them signed up to play. Also, during a high-speed game it is difficult to always hit the mid-section of a player and sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances the hit may be too high or low. Due to this, many players believe that they should not  be fined for these hits.

 

These thoughts were reflected by Steelers’ safety Mike Mitchell who said in a locker room interview “…I signed up to play full speed contact football and were not doing that, I feel like I gotta to ask a guy “Hey, are you ready for me to hit you right now”… and that’s crazy. I’m gonna mess around and get hurt trying to protect an offensive player because he’s running an over route….your quarterback shouldn’t of threw that ball messed up.” When referring to an incident that happened two years ago where he was fined $50,000 for an illegal hit he said “Andy Dalton threw a ball to Tyler Eifert two years ago, Tyler Eifert had to dive for it and I was aiming for his gut. But if he don’t dive he don’t get hit in the head, but thats fifty-grand out of my pocket though, because Andy threw a bad ball, make that make sense.” These same thoughts are reflected by many defensive players in the NFL.

 

When discussing this topic, Battlefield Sophomore and football player, Troy Brown says, “I don’t think they should be fined if there’s no evidence to prove the hit was intentional. But if it looks like they lifted their shoulder at the last second and it looks intentional they should be fined.” These thoughts are shared by many football players.

 

On the NFL’s official website they state The NFL uses the fine schedule to outline the league’s and the union’s expectations for players to conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game, their fellow players, the fans and the league. The rules are intended to protect the players from unnecessary risk, promote player safety and emphasize sportsmanship and respect of teammates, opponents, coaches, officials and fans.” Currently it is still hard to judge a players intent, but as technology continues to improve, the NFL will continue to improve their process for judging these hits.

 

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