The NFL hit Oakland Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour with a $25,000 fine for his open-handed punch to the face of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last Sunday, but was it enough?
The Steelers, like a lot of people, say no. Had it been someone else – say, a marquee player such as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning – the penalty would have been considerably stiffer. But this was Roethlisberger, who has image problems of his own that he's trying to clean up.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El said, "It would have been a little more" if Seymour had slugged Brady or Manning. "Or if one of our guys did it, there would have been more."
Of course, the Steelers may be a bit sensitive on the topic of fines. Linebacker James Harrison has been the league's poster boy for illegal hits and has been fined three times this season for fines totaling $100,000. Harrison called for Seymour to be suspended.On his local radio show, Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said the NFL is "not being consistent with all the fines and the calls." He said Seymour would have faced a suspension if he had hit Brady or Manning, but he declined to discuss his comments later when asked by the Post-Gazette.
Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu said, "They should have fined him more. I'll say that as much as I can."
Roethlisberger, asked if he believes the penalty would have been different had it been Brady or Manning, answered, "We all know the answer to that one. Easy."