Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, it was reported that the league was reviewing a few plays from the game involving Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for consideration of possible discipline. The report also surmised that a suspension was not currently under consideration.
Burfict’s conduct has gone well beyond the confines of football for a long time. it goes back far beyond this past season, or beyond his first suspension for his on-field conduct. It goes beyond even his rookie season, stemming from his college days. Had he not been such a violently extracurricular performer, he would not have gone undrafted.
The Bengals’ team captain is a recidivist such that the league has not seen in a while. Forget Ndamukong Suh. Forget James Harrison. That sort of play—or even non-plays, as the case may be—belong in a totally separate class in comparison to what we have seen from Burfict.
The amazing thing is that Burfict has only been back from serving a four-game suspension for performance-enhancing substances for two games, during the first of which he only played sparingly, and he is already embroiled in yet another controversy for his inability to contain himself from inflicting and attempting to inflect out-of-bounds violence upon his peers.
I’m not even going to recap all of the incidents, both minor and major, that he was involved in on Sunday. I’m just going to show you a video posted by Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated yesterday that highlights some of the non-football behavior that he has continued to engage in during the middle of football games.
Time to start talking about a long-term ban for Vontaze Burfict. pic.twitter.com/qH7WuAo3TI
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) October 16, 2018
That the league is not considering a life-time, or at least indefinite ban for a player who has repeatedly, brazenly, and wantonly shown no regard for the NFL’s (and society’s) basic guidelines for safety is bad enough. That they are reportedly not even weighing any suspension at all is incredulous.
This is a person who has cost himself hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars directly from the fact that he simply refuses to not go out of his way to intentionally injure people in contextually trivial football situations.
He has never shown any remorse for any player that he has injured, nor expressed any willingness to make an attempt to change his violent approach. There are only so many chances that you can give a player in this sort of situation.
But apparently it’s more chances than a player gets for smoking marijuana. As Klemko wrote along with his video, it’s “time to start talking about a long-term ban for Vontaze Burict”. And I know that’s an easy sell to a Steelers crowd, but I’d like to think that I would feel the same way if he were in Pittsburgh as well. I don’t want to see him in football, period, because what he is doing is not football. It’s assault.