The wrong questions are being asked about the Myles Garrett incident
Last Thursday night's game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns was one to remember. With just eight seconds left in the game, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph got into a physical altercation after the play was over. Garrett ripped off Rudolph's helmet. While Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro was trying to calm Garrett down, Rudolph was still trying to get in Garrett's face. Garret swung Rudolph’s helmet, hitting Rudolph in the head. That fight then resulted in DeCastro and Mike Pouncey to attack Garrett in retaliation.
As of Friday morning, Pouncey had been suspended three games, Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi had been suspended one game, and finally, Garrett had been suspended indefinitely.
I am completely in favor of these suspensions. Garrett deserves to be suspended for using another player's helmet as a weapon. There is no place for this kind of violence in the NFL. As for Mike Pouncey, he was just defending his quarterback, as any offensive lineman would. If you know the game of football, you know that the job of a lineman is to always protect their quarterback.
After all of this, what stood out to me the most was how so many people on Twitter said that Garrett hitting Rudolph was assault and that the repercussions for his actions should be that he can never play in the NFL ever again, not an unreasonable request, given the nature of Garrett’s actions. However, I question why a lot of these people do not have the same energy towards players who commit assault off the field. How often do we see Twitter explode with tweets saying Kareem Hunt should never play another down in the NFL for kicking a woman? Keep in mind that Kareem Hunt played this past Thursday.
Productive and therefore valuable players like Hunt, who was suspended eight games for assaulting a woman in February, tend to not have any permanent consequences from the league. The NFL has brought Hunt back with open arms, while I feel as if NFL analysts and fans have more interest in Garrett being banned after the altercation with Rudolph.
Since Garrett is suspended indefinitely and will not play another game this season, the total number of games he’s suspended for will linger and spark great discussion. Will they give him the same suspension as Hunt, or will they give him more? It will be something that will be talked about for the coming weeks due to the magnitude of the situation.