Raiders DT Richard Seymour was ejected from the game against the Dolphins on Sunday for punching another player. Predictably, many in the media are calling for a suspension for his actions as well. Now I’m not going to defend one player punching another, I believe that punching a player with a closed fist crosses the line from losing your cool in a heated moment, and into cheap shot territory.
What I will question however is why Seymour was ejected from this game, while Packers Cornerback and best defensive player, Charles Woodson WAS NOT ejected for doing the exact same thing in the the Packers season opening game against the New Orleans Saints. Actually after watching both of the plays again, I would say that what Woodson did was much worse than Seymour’s so called”punch.” For one thing, Woodson hit the player AFTER the play was over, with a closed fist, in the stomach area. He deliberately made a fist and hit a player in one of the only parts of his body that was not covered with pads. It was a clear cheap shot done for no other reason than to inflict pain. Seymour’s “punch” however was actually a shove to the offensive lineman’s face with an OPEN PALM. Now where I come from you need to have a closed fist for it to be considered a punch. Furthermore, the dolphins lineman was holding Seymour during the play. Seymour was trying to disengage the blocker so he pushed back hard with an open palm. Illegal hands to the face? Yes. Punch? Not a chance.
I also found it amusing that in his explanation of the penalty, referee Mike Carey says “for throwing a punch, number 92 is ejected” implying that in the case of a player throwing a punch, it is an automatic ejection, regardless of the situation. So I ask again, why wasn’t Charles Woodson ejected for throwing a punch?
I said at the time that it was very fishy that Woodson was only given a 15 yard penalty on the play, and was allowed to remain in the game. I made the observation that every other time we have seen a player throw a punch with a closed fist after a play is over, that player gets ejected. Now here is another perfect example of the double standard on display. I’m sure Seymour will point this out to the league when he appeals the fine that is surely coming. He may also like to point out that Woodson was only fined $10,000 (and also did not have to forfeit a game check due to being suspended) for his punch. Interesting to see how much the NFL will decide to fine Seymour, but you can bet it will be a lot more than $10,000.
And below is Woodson’s Cheap shot. Even the announcers at the time said that by rule Woodson should have been ejected.
Tell us in the comments which one you thought was more of a cheap shot. Maybe one of you can explain why Woodson wasn’t ejected because I sure can’t, and the NFL can’t either.