The NFL morality police are out in full force, recommending that Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour not only be heavily fined for his sucker punch of Ben Roethlisberger in yesterday's loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh, but that he should also be suspended for a game.
Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has amassed $100,000 in fines this season for a series of aggressive hits, believes Seymour shouldn't be allowed to play next week against the Dolphins.
"I don't see why not," Harrison said, per Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com. "The guy's celebrating with his teammates and you punch him in the face."
Seymour sucker-punched Roethlisberger after the quarterback started talking trash with the defensive end following a Steelers' touchdown. Seymour said afterward he reacted instinctively.
"There was a lot going on," he said. "You're out there to protect yourself, but still, no excuse. I'm not sure exactly what happened on the play. I just turned around, and he just ran up on me quick. It was a natural thing."
There's no question the cheap shot was uncalled for, and that Seymour should get a hefty fine. But a suspension? That's taking it too far. Seymour was ejected from the game after the incident, which was an entirely appropriate response from referee Tony Corrente.
But sitting Seymour for another game is excessive for one sucker punch that didn't cause Roethlisberger to miss any time in the game. Now, had Seymour actually injured Roethlisberger on the play, that's a different story. But fisticuffs in the heat of the moment don't rise to the level of suspension.