The National Football League needs to get tough with Ndamukong Suh, and soon. His latest incident of stepping on Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ injured leg on December 28th has gone basically unpunished in the opinion of Bernardo Chua
. And because of this light discipline, his behavior will likely never change.
Suh had originally been suspended without pay for the Lions’ first playoff game against Dallas on January 4th. The defensive tackle should be very thankful that the appeals process moves so quickly during the playoffs. Under normal circumstances, he may have simply served the suspension and missed a meaningless game. But because of this week’s quick proceedings, Suh will play on Sunday with a mere $70,000 fine.
In his five-year career, Suh has been fined nearly $300,000 for eight incidents relating to player safety. In 2011, he served a two-game suspension for a similar incident when he blatantly stepped on the arm of a Packers’ lineman. And for someone playing with a $68 million contract, even these “sizable” fines are just slaps on the wrist.
For a league that has been trying to clean up its image relating to unnecessarily-rough play on the field and violence off the field, the NFL is doing a poor job in the case of Ndamukong Suh. He continues his brand of dirty play despite all warnings and punishments previously handed down. He offers no remorse or desire to bring his play to within acceptable standards. Only a serious punishment from Commissioner Roger Goodell will convince Suh of the seriousness of his actions. Unfortunately, Goodell has seemingly lost his no nonsense image.