October 19th, 2010
06:22 PM ET

3 NFL players fined after weekend of violent hits

The National Football League has fined three players for flagrant violations of player safety rules during this weekend's games.

Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison was fined $75,000. New England Patriot Brandon Meriweather and Atlanta Falcon Dunta Robinson were each fined $50,000.

Several players were injured Sunday in what some fans and observers perceived as a particularly violent weekend of football.

That led to an announcement from the NFL on Tuesday saying while the league may not specifically change any rules of the game, it will be more vigilant about ejecting and/or suspending players who have made flagrant hits.

Read more about the weekend of violent hits.

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Filed under: Pro football • Sports
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Felicia D

    I watched the falcons/eagles, game it was not an intentional helmet to helmet hit. I do not feel Robinson should have been fined for something that we all know (at least true football fans) is apart of the game. I dont know where the writer of this article got his information from but no one asked me if I felt it was a "violent weekend in football"? I remember when football was our modern day GLADIATORS, players where hit so hard their bodies would fly up in the air and hit the ground limp while the player makes the touchdown. We cheered for the victory and then treated the injured off the field. I remember bloody uniforms!!!! Now I see perfectly coffed hairdos sticking out from helmets and MANICURED nails because no one tackles anymore in PROFESSIONAL football. Yes I believe it is becoming like flag football and VERY BORING!

    My 5 year old nephew gets to tackle harder and plays harder than these 300lb men!!!! The organization of football needs to stop. Seems they are finding more rules to take back the money they pay these players. Okay I'm done venting sorry.

    October 20, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Wapps

      I'm 100 percent positive your 5 year old nephew never got hit like a pro football player ever did. There is no way you could ever say that football hits are becoming boring. It's to the point where some hits are a straight out assault to the player creating a career damaging injury. Look at what happened to Tom Brady for example. And if you want something more recent that could've been deadly, how about London Fletcher almost taking out Joseph Addai for his career Sunday. That was an intentional helmet hit that knocked him out completely unconscious. Are we saying no stop the hits? Absolutely not, but cheap vicious hits that only cause serious injury is no good. This isn't the Longest Yard where the prison guards are playing the inmates. This is a strategic professional contact sport. I would hate to see someone like Peyton Manning be out for his career because some defender needed to take a real cheap shot on him to win 1 game.

      October 20, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    I say why are they fining Pro Football players for hitting (too hard)? if your not willing to get hurt don't play the game.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. EJR

    There is NOTHING WRONG with trying to make NFL an College football a safer sport.

    On Saturday and Sunday I want to see THE BEST that each team has to offer. I'd like to know that a guy got hurt by something fluke and not because another guy intentionally led with their head or went "head hunting" because they want to act a big shot in front of the crowd so they can have their highlights played on ESPN. Most guys in college will never play pro. The ones that do make it have a shelf life of 2-3 years on average. I highly doubt the guys making these big hits would want those same hits on them especially if it knocks them out and possibly ends their career of big $$$.

    I'm sick of seeing intentional helmet to helmet hits. I'm sick of seeing guys lead with their head to make a tackle or even try and break one (RBs and some WRs). It's dangerous and stupid. As a few other guys have sated on here, there are big hits, but the guys that are known for great defensive hits aren't leading with their head, head-hunting, or spearing guys. They don't need to take cheap shots. Guys like Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, etc... They are making good clean hard hits.

    For anyone that says that the NFL is becoming flag football is out for blood lust. If you want that then scour the internet for K1 and other MMA sports outside of the USA to get your thrills of extreme violence and possible death.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wapps

    I think the players getting fined is only result to horrible injuries. You guys gotta remember that the players nowadays are nothing like the players of years ago. Now we have players from all around the world, some of them only being trained to be physically fit to destroy someone. Taking that into consideration the NFL just seems like they don't want their players on a deathbed every Sunday. Not saying they are going to die or whatnot just saying how serious it is. It's not like the NFL is telling them not to have defenders anticipate a very hard hit before the receiver touches the ball, it's a hit that can damage a person permanently.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. brad

    Remove helmets from players all together. Its like some punk ass guy being real brave while being protected inside a car. Get him outside the car and he'll think twice about his actions. NOBODY will lead with their head if they don't have a helmet. Take the weapon out of there hands. Way back in the day the players didn't wear helmets and you didn't see people launching themselves head first at everyone (well, some crazy players may have).

    October 20, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. TMM

    Players are faster and stronger, but this doesn't mean the sport should be violent. We all enjoy football on a Sunday with some wings and pizza, but some players feel the need to go out and hurt other players. This is where it becomes difficult to watch. I have two sons that play, and I always think about them, but they love the game. If you start thinking about getting hurt, then you will. The NFL has to start teaching the old basics of tackling below the waist and wrapping the legs. That's what they are taught, and it should follow all the way until their career ends.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gene

    I for one am about ready to quit watching professional football, their are so many rule changes that the game is no longer fun or good to watch. For the money they make, they should be allowed to play. Dirty football is one thing, but tackling with the helmet forward is part of the game.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. bballbm

    Suspensions are the ONLY way to stop it. If you miss games and also let your team down, your gonna think twice about it.
    And the Meriweather hit was BY FAR the most intentional hit to hurt I have seen in quite awhile. How the hell did he get less of a fine than ANYONE else. At least Harrisons hit was during the attempt to stop the play. Meriweather hit well AFTER the ball was past and with no reason but to hurt.......and NOBDOY can argue that he didn't aim for the head!!!!

    October 20, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • UVA-Phd

      Harrison comes way to close to the line....and running his mouth after the game didn't help his cause. But I think he is just a hard hitter.
      Meriweather has become a poster child for DIRTY player. This is not his first blatent hit to injure someone and I am sure not his last (unless they kick his ass out of the league before he puts someone in a wheelchair).

      October 20, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. JohnnyInSNJ, Blackwood, NJ

    I thought they said "huge" fines. $20,000,000 contracts and they get $50,000 fines. (I wanted to put the zeros in there so anyone that reads this see the BIG NFL joke) You could fine me every week for that much. How about 4 week suspensions? Maybe during that 4 weeks they can think about how they're letting their team down because of some flagrant action.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Wapps

    People saying that football is boring to watch now are clearly not watching this season of football at all. This is probably one of the best seasons. Clearly not one team in the NFL is dominating leading to a who's the best of the best for super bowl quality. You aren't really a fan of the game if you're going to downplay this season amongst any of them. The hits are still hard and relentless, just making rules to prevent FATAL INJURY or possibly death. Watch an mma fight if you aren't satisfies with a vicious beating. Football is not completely about getting murdered on the field. There is a major strategy to the game and that is probably the most entertaining factor besides the bone crushing hits.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. NN is over UJ

    Let's cut their SALARIES, too. And reduce ticket prices, and parking fees, and prices for food. Let's make it more fun to go to these games, instead of dropping $600 to go to a stupid game.

    I can get a nice flat screen TV for $600 and watch it at home.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • PeteDude

      And most sane people do that. It's the poor people who go to these games and can't afford it. Then they are the ones we have to bail out since they aren't paying their bills. how fair is that??

      October 20, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Eagles Fan

      Then stay at home and stop complaining.

      October 20, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • DC

      Is that saying that an "Eagles Fan" falls into that category? hahahahahaha!!!!!

      I guess so.

      October 20, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Big Giant Horsee

    A guy makes 3/4 of a million to a million per game and he is fined $75,000. That is like fining me 15 cents.
    Football is silly. either let them juice up massively and kill and cripple each other
    or just replace it with drag queen ballet

    October 20, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • PeteDude

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (what he said)

      October 20, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • BMarkey

      Let's do the math...James Harrison is slated to make on average $8.53 million per year. A $75,000 fine is about 0.88% of his annual salary. If we were to translate that into the average American's salary of $46,326...that would be a fine of $407.68. So it might not be a small fine in perspective...but definitely not a hefty one either. Meriweather's fine is about 2.86% of his salary (about $1324.63 US median salary) and Robinson's is about 0.53% of his salary (about $243.82 US median salary). Not sure if the percentages are fair...as Harrison did it not only once, but twice. But I guess they have a base fine amount no matter what the salary of the player.

      October 20, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ian

    I guess the defensive players should let the guys catch the ball then tackle them. This is so ridiculous and another attempt for the NFL to protect it's high dollar players.

    Big hits serve a purpose especially when a receiver is coming across the middle like these guys were. This pansy approcah turning the game into 2 hand touch is stupid. I don't want to see anyone hurt but when someone is going to catch the ball you lay them out, simple as that.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      there is a way to jack someone up without spearing them helmet to helmet

      October 20, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • TexasJim

      I agree. Totally! But you don't have to ram someone with your helmet to take them out. No one is saying "Let's eliminate hard hits". that's why they wear protective gear. We're talking about blatant, excessive attempts to injur. Were you to do this on the street you'd be arrested for aggravated assault.
      There is the right way to do a hard hit, and these guys know it. They know what they are doing. They know when it's excessive and designed to injur and disable.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      i agree. there are many ways to intimidate someone coming accross the middle without using your helmet. what ever happened to the good ole' days where players actually wore shoulder pads and hit with them? these guys on the field today don't even look like they are wearing any pads... lets take away their helmet and still see how they tackle....

      October 20, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • John C

      It's always the fat guy on he fat guy sitting on the couch that wants to support the dirty hits.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    As I commented on James' post. NFL players should be required to wrap in tackles. It would help many of the injury problems and probably result in less missed tackles. Going for the big hit is bad football.

    October 20, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Texas Pete

      Is that why you became a linebacker for the Steelers? Didn't think so. I think maybe these guys know what they are doing more then you.

      October 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark Williams

    I can remember the controversy when NASCAR desided that the speeds were too great and started to put into place safty measures for the drivers such as roll bars, better helmet protection blah blah blah and the Hans Device after the wreck of Dale Errnhart. People said back in the day, "there goes racing!" What is it going to take for the NFL to put into place measures to protect the safty of the game? A decapitation from a severe hit? A death? People have been gathering into arenas for centuries to see the"games" that result in death or severe injury just so we can sit in our "arm chair" and be grateful that it wasn't us that got killed or injured. And be "intertained" by it all. Mankind is sick as a whole concerning the safty of others in the "game."

    October 20, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
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