Repeat offender Suh dodges suspension

Hulking defensive tackle slapped with one of NFL’s largest fines

By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter

Ndamukong Suh, one of the Detroit Lions captains, has once again been disciplined for his unsportsmanlike behaviour after throwing an illegal block on Vikings centre, John Sullivan. Ironically, just days before the season opener, Suh called a meeting with his players suggesting the importance of creating a better team image.

Unfortunately, Suh went against his own pep-talk and committed another offence that has now caused a riot in the football world. Suh’s been fined six times and suspended once. Two seasons ago, Suh slammed the head of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith into the ground and stomped on his arm. This cost him a two-game suspension. Last season, Suh kicked Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin, racking up $30,000 in fines.

Although Suh’s illegal block on Sullivan didn’t cost the Lions the game, it did cost Suh six-figures. The $100,000 fine is the most expensive fine levied by the league for an on-field incident. Suh is appealing the fine. He suggests that it was excessive considering the block was not intentional. The league, however, disagrees. They felt that the block was unnecessary since Sullivan was not in reach of interfering with the touchdown play. The replay of the video indicates the same.

Suh found Sullivan after the game to apologize. Sullivan was understanding, later saying that “[Suh] apologized and said there was no intent to injure. It’s fine.… I appreciate the fact that he came up to me and said something.” Nonetheless, he was clear that the block was dangerous, and he’s grateful that the block did not cause him a significant injury. “I’m just happy I wasn’t hurt—seriously injured… There’s a reason that play is illegal. It’s incredibly dangerous. I just feel fortunate that I’ll be playing this week.”

After yet another fine, one must wonder if Suh has learned his lesson. His teammates certainly hope so and are backing him fully. As for the rest of the league, they believe that after enough devastating blows to his bank account, he may finally tighten up his professionalism on the field. After all, Suh is one of the best defensive linemen in the game; why would he need to continue to play dirty?