Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard has ripped into the NFL for his latest fine.
Pollard was fined $42,000 by the league after his hit on Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. During the game, Pollard was’t flagged for the hit. He believes he was fined afterwards because of his reputation.
Over the course of Pollard’s eight year career, he’s been fined a number of times. He was even responsible for ending Tom Brady’s season in 2008 with a low hit. He may have been fined for his reputation, but his reputation is earned.
Like most defensive players, however, Pollard believes he’s clean. He even told reporters, “They said I did everything right. But he was a defenseless receiver, I guess. The bad part of it is, for us as players, for the fans, for the coaches, for the refs, there’s a lot of gray area. So they don’t know what to call and what not to call. There’s no call and now you come back and fine me $42,000 for … a play that was legal.”
Bernard Pollard then slammed the NFL for how the league treats defenders:
“Flag football, that’s what they want. For us as players, it stinks. Our intent is to play football, to protect the field behind us. Nobody’s intention was to hurt (Johnson). Nobody wanted a concussion. We hope he’s OK. But like I said, if you don’t want us to play defense, don’t call us defense. Take us off the field. Just let them go against air. Let’s see what that does to the ratings.”
Pollard has a point. One of the major attractions of tuning into the NFL every Sunday to witness the next big hit. How many people would tune if viewers couldn’t get that adrenaline rush?
On the other side, Pollard is overreacting. While the NFL has handed out a record number amount of money in fines this early in the season, a majority of those dollar signs have been given to a small number of players. The NFL isn’t trying to remove hard hitting from the game at all. It may just take a while to clearly define what a clean, hard hit is. Nothing was perfected over night, and the NFL is just starting to figure that out.
Do you think Bernard Pollards harsh criticism of the NFL is accurate?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]