Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is not happy with the NFL after the league fined him for what was deemed as a low hit against Drew Stanton of the Arizona Cardinals.
In fact, Richardson went as far as to call the $18,231 fine against him “extortion”, complaining that the hit was in no way dirty. Here’s what he said, per The Seattle Times.
“It’s kind of just extortion really,’’ Richardson said Friday. “Guy pushes you in the back and trips you on the play and you are catching your balance the whole time and then you just happen, I don’t know. They said ‘avoid him,’ but he still has the ball. It’s like what do you do?’’
“There is no way you should be taking any of my money because it wasn’t a dirty hit,’’ Richardson said. “I didn’t try to hit him in the legs or nothing and once again people fail to realize it’s still football. Pretty sure they are just fining guys for every personal foul and not even looking at the film and not even making the consideration of did I try to avoid the guy.’’
Unfortunately for Richardson, there’s no tape of the late hit readily available on the internet so the defensive tackle likely won’t be winning his argument in the court of public opinion — outside of Seattle, that is.
With that said, the NFL certainly has the tape and considering the league’s over-protectiveness of quarterbacks, it does make sense that the league decided to fine Richardson.
It is extortion? Unofrutnaly for Richardson, probably not. The league has the autonomy to make its own decisions and handle its own punishments. Sure, the NFL has been perhaps too focused the ticky-tack penalties, especially as they relate to quarterbacks, but ultimately, what the league says goes.
That may not make Richardson happy, especially since he feels he was pushed into Stanton, but unfortunately, outside of appealing the fine there’s not much he’ll be able to do.