You know you done goofed if you have Vontaze Burfict talking about something that you did on a football field and saying that he wouldn’t want his daughters to see that. But that’s what the former Cincinnati Bengals and current Oakland Raiders linebacker told reporters in the wake of the indefinite suspension handed down to Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett for striking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with the man’s own helmet.
“I don’t want them to see that”, he told The Athletic, quoted here by ESPN. “Because that’s not what I do. That’s not part of football. I hit people on the field during the game. And they say that’s dirty, yeah, whatever. I get hit, too, during the games, so don’t complain. It’s football, bro”.
Of course, even in his own defense of himself, he continues to display the same attitude in words he does in deeds that resulted in him receiving an unprecedented suspension. He became the first player in NFL history to be handed down an indefinite suspension for his on-field conduct, and his came as a years-long history of illegal hits.
Garrett’s was essentially stemming from one single incident, though he has been fined multiple times this season for illegal hits prior. What the former first-overall pick did was completely outside of the scope of football, or sports in general, and immediately put him in the same breath as Burfict, who despite what he says has had plenty of non-football-play hits, including twisting ankles and blindsiding people after plays.
And of course, he couldn’t help but to sound off on his own suspension, which he called “bullshit”. He also said that Commissioner Roger Goodell was a “bitch” and that he and the league had already predetermined that Burfict’s appeal effort would be denied. Not that it shouldn’t have been.
He said that he showed the review board plays in which he made clean tackles and others in which other players had landed dirty hits on him without retaliating, but the fact that he would even show these things as evidence shows how little he understands why he was suspended.
Yet even he agrees with what they did with Garrett. “The NFL had to suspend somebody for that last night, since that wasn’t a football act”, he said. “My suspension was a football act. I was hitting somebody. I wasn’t taking a helmet off and swinging it at somebody”.