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Fining Polamalu is OK, but …


OK, we get the point.

Safety is a very important issue to the NFL, and the league is going to extreme measures to make sure players understand that.

As first reported by the Tribune-Review, Troy Polamalu was fined $15,000 for what seemed like an innoncent and accidental horse-collar tackle on Baltimore’s Ricky Williams on Sunday.

It may have seemed innoncent to me and you, but the NFL has obviously made it an issue to fine every single horse-collar tackle this year with the minimum being $15,000.

As long as its consistent, that’s fine (no pun intended).

But seriously, how hypocritical is the NFL in going about safety?

On one hand, they are promoting safety to the extreme by fining players like Ike Taylor for an minimal head butt on Michael Oher (and believe me, I re-watched it like five times and there wasn’t much contact at all), but nothing is done or said about the very dangerous chop blocks on Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton.

OK, I read the comments by Jim Harbaugh about the plays being legal, and by the letter of the law, they are legal. However, that doesn’t dissipate how fact of how dangerous the play really is.

While tooling around Twitter earlier Friday, I came across a response from the NFL head PR man Greg Aiello to a question from a fan confused of why a horse-collar tackle is more of a fine than punching someone (Charles Woodson was fined $10K for punching a Saints player last week).

Aiello’s response was: “Rather have torn ACL or risk punch 2 padded body? Give ME a break.”

He also went on to tweet: “There have been several player who have sustained serious knee injuries (ACL tear included) from horse collar tackles.”

And there have been several players who have sustained serious knee injuries from cut and chop blocks as well, but the NFL seems not to care.

Just ask Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who had his season come to an end last week because of a cut block.

The NFL is very committed to provide safety to its players, and if that means fining players for a dangerous play, then so be it.

But let’s just be consistent about it.

Treat Casey Hampton like you treat Ricky Williams.

– By Mark Kaboly




Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

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