On any level of rational, sane analysis, what happened at the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers/Cleveland Browns Thursday Night Football game was an embarrassment. We are not going to recap it here: Watch the video and then come back to this discussion.
Myles Garrett is done, and there should be no doubt about that. The Cleveland Browns defensive end hit an opposing player in the head with a helmet, while that player was helmet-less. In fact, it was Steelers quarterback’s own helmet he got hit with in the head.
There is no defense for this action, even if eyewitness accounts state that Mason Rudolph was the first one trying to rip off Garrett’s helmet. Garrett should be suspended from the NFL for life, in truth, for his actions could have caused major injury to Rudolph. Case closed.
However, lost in all this outrage are the actions of Pittsburgh offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey, who repeatedly threw punches at Garrett’s head and then proceeded to try to kick Garrett in the head once the Cleveland player had been taken to the ground by others.
Pouncey committed a very similar act to Garrett’s, of dangerous violence against a vulnerable opponent: kicking him in the head. On what planet is this okay? There are multiple reports of NFL “insiders” praising Pouncey for this cowardly action, and that defies all rational, sane logic and objectivity right now.
First, Pouncey is throwing multiple punches at the head of an opposing player. That alone warrants a suspension for the rest of the season. But to kick a defenseless player on the ground in the head? That is just as dangerous as the helmet attack and is reminiscent of cowardly street fighting when it is five-on-one or something.
Pouncey is a coward who tried to hurt someone who could not defend himself, and he is just as culpable as Garrett—even if he was trying to protect his own teammate, which he clearly was not doing anymore at that point. He was attacking someone who had attacked his teammate, for nothing more than raging, violent revenge, and that is not noble on the field of sport no matter what the circumstance.
There is no way Pouncey should be suspended for anything less than a year, and if the NFL fails to act properly here, there will be precedent for attacking defenseless players in group brawls like this and getting away with it.
We’ve documented how the NFL has become unwatchable already, but this will just be icing on the cake if Pouncey isn’t suspended for at least a year, if not more, in addition to Garrett’s warranted lifelong suspension.