The NFL handed down its punishment today to Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh for his dive at Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan’s knees. The league has fined Suh $100K, one of the largest fines ever given out by the league office. This fine, however, is not a sufficient punishment for Suh’s many crimes. He is a cheap shot artist and the league’s dirtiest player, and he deserves a suspension.
Some believe that the fine is sufficient, and they are entitled to their opinion. However, I completely disagree with the assessment that a fine is enough punishment. First of all, $100k is a lot of money, but it’s considerably less significant to a man who is making just over $12 million this season. Secondly, suspensions are by far the best way to get a player’s attention, and Suh has shown no remorse for his actions throughout his career.
Suh could have very easily ended Sullivan’s career with his cheap shot, costing Sullivan millions of dollars. Luckily he didn’t, but we certainly wouldn’t consider a fine sufficient if he had. However, the result doesn’t change his action and the motivation behind it, and Suh needs to be punished for that more than the result of the play.
Suh has a long history of dirty and violent play, and he has been flagged, fined and suspended multiple times for the NFL. Clearly, he does not care even a little bit about the safety of the players around him, and he needs to be taught a lesson. The NFL loves to talk about how its primary focus is player safety, but they yet again missed an opportunity to back up their words.
Diving at knees from the blind side is completely unacceptable, and it is one of the most dangerous plays in football. It cannot be tolerated under any circumstances, and Suh deserved to be suspended for his actions. A big fine is all well and good, but it is not even close to enough for a repeat offender like Suh.