Golden Tate’s block on the Dallas Cowboys’ Sean Lee has earned the Seattle wide receiver a hefty $21,000 fine from the NFL.
The 24-year-old wide receiver made his block on Lee (video embedded below) during the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory last Sunday, and commentators on the incident immediately questioned its legality. The incident occurred in the fourth quarter, when Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled from the pocket with linebacker Lee hot on his heels. Tate, spying the threat from Lee, turned back and rammed his opponent in the chest and chin, helmet first. The Dallas linebacker was sent flying backwards, and was left with an abrasion on his chin.
Speaking about his fine on Thursday to The Seattle Times, Tate was philosophical about his punishment, which he described as “unfortunate”:
“I just have to deal with it, fix the problem, make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s unfortunate that I got fined, but rules are rules.”
However, Tate said he would appeal the fine, while saying he respected the importance of playing within the rules of the game:
“When I do my appeal I’m going to ask them that ‘What would you suggest I do so this doesn’t happen again?’ I never have intentions on hurting a player and always want to play within the rules. That’s a question that’s going to come up when I do my appeal.”
On Monday, Seattle coach was defensive about the Golden Tate block, which at first he deemed to be perfectly legal. Come Thursday, Carroll was attempting to find out from the league why the block was illegal:
“We worked hard to understand what was going on with their evaluation of it. We worked behind the scenes and we’re still talking to the league to make sure we know because we need to teach our guys to stay within the guidelines. It was a great effort by Golden to make the block that he needed it to make, but unfortunately they saw that there was a little contact to the bottom of his facemask and perhaps his chin, and that’s not OK. Why that’s important to us is that we need to understand clearly how we can avoid doing that.”
You can see the Golden Tate block in the footage below – do you think the wide receiver deserved his fine?