On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers safety took to Twitter to rail on the National Football League for suspending Cincinnati Bengals safety George Iloka for his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown (a suspension that was overturned) during Monday's NFC North matchup that has drawn widespread criticism for what many deemed excessive violence and dirty play. This week the league gave one-game suspensions to both Rob Gronkowski and JuJu Smith-Schuster, even though Gronkowski's hit on Tre'Davious White was after the whistle and arguably deserved a harsher punishment. There was screaming about dirty play, there are questions about the NFL's handling of in-game penalties and ejections and just a lot of vitriol spilling over into the general conversation.
Mitchell's comments came two days after a shockingly violent AFC North contest between the Steelers and Bengals that drew considerable criticism, including from the ESPN broadcasters calling the game. That is far from the case today. This is for real men.
"Just hand us all some flags. And that's insane. I'm gonna mess around and get hurt trying to protect an offensive player because he's running an over route".
The NFL has sent a ton of mixed messages regarding fines and what players can or cannot do in the context of a football game. I feel like I've got to ask a guy, 'Hey, are you ready for me to hit you right now before I hit you?' That's insane.
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Mitchell also said that fans, owners and players are all disappointed in Goodell.
Smith-Schuster delivered a devastating block to Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was stretchered off the field and remains in concussion protocol. There are lots of good rules making football safer, Mike Mitchell doesn't love all of them.
In a passionate rant, Mitchell criticized the league, its leadership, and the media for their portrayal of him as a "dirty player". This is how I've changed my family legacy. Dammit, your quarterback shouldn't have thrown that ball messed up.
"That's 50 grand out of my pocket because Andy [Dalton] throws a bad ball", he said. "Make that make sense", said Mitchell of the 2015 play. "I donate more money to Cincinnati underprivileged kids than probably people on the Bengals, so don't give me that name". My nephew goes to school there. Foster said. "That's who I see it. You know what I'm saying?"
If players want that to change with the next CBA, they're going to have to prepare to miss some games. "There needs to be a set guideline on how we do what we do". Audio also includes Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. There's no way I see two people get post-play infractions that don't have to do with football and you get the same suspension as the guy who's making a football play in a football game.