The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Post-fight rewards Johnson with no suspension

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) and Tennessee Titan Cortland Finnegan are separated during a fight after an NFL game. The two players were fined but not suspended. Photo Credit: Courtesy of MCT

There was a fight in a sports game during the weekend. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a National Hockey League game, where violence is accepted as part of the culture.

It happened in the National Football League, of all places. It’s pretty hilarious the sport doesn’t see that many fistfights despite its violent nature.

The fight involved the Houston Texans’ four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson and Tennessee Titan cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

Just released today by the NFL, both Johnson and Finnegan were given fines of $25,000 each without any suspensions.

Professional sports leagues fine or suspend athletes who start throwing punches at another because they have certain codes of conduct all athletes should abide by. Hockey, of course, is one of the exceptions.

Sometimes leagues fine for what could’ve happened, not for what actually happened. If the situations caused irreparable damage, then leagues will place a suspension on the players.

I agree with the league’s decision to fine but not suspend. I also agree with Johnson’s actions on the field.

For anyone who saw the fight, Johnson was taking hit after hit from Finnegan. A lot of the hits were dirty and deserving of penalty flags.

The video clearly shows Finnegan instigating the fight, pushing Johnson by the facemask and not the body. That’s illegal contact, plain and simple.

Finnegan told TitanInsider that he didn’t know why Johnson reacted the way he did, making it seem like he (Finnegan) is the victim.

Finnegan was fined for personal fouls in three consecutive games earlier this season and was even given a warning by the league to watch his actions after the whistle blows. If anything, I’m shocked Finnegan didn’t receive a suspension.

Johnson is not the guy who will create commotion and fight whenever situations get nasty. He has a clean-cut and soft-spoken reputation that has made him one of the most respected players in the league.

It was the correct decision to not suspend Johnson because history doesn’t depict him as a player who habitually instigates. The same cannot be said about Finnegan.

Sure, Finnegan is a Pro Bowl cornerback, but that doesn’t give him the right to bully and punk people around.

There’s a difference between dirty players and punks, and Finnegan is indeed a punk. Steelers’ defensive end James Harrison is dirty, but he isn’t a punk. Harrison plays hard and sometimes one has to pay the price for such physicality.

Johnson did apologize for the way he acted and I applaud him for it. He manned up and admitted that what he did was wrong instead of giving the cliché “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” apology.

I don’t condone fighting in any way; I mean, come on, the last fight I was in occurred back in the seventh grade. On the contrary, doesn’t everyone want to beat up someone who’s grinding your gears?

I’m not saying act on it, but some people have the tendency to work the last nerve.

Finnegan is one of those types of players who act as agitators. These are players who make a lot of enemies while giving their professional abilities a secondary focus.

Current New York Ranger winger Sean Avery is a great example of this. They even named a rule after him that involves penalizing unsportsmanlike conduct. These players don’t get respect, but they do manage do instigate and fight as a result.

Johnson received the game ball after the Texans-Titans game, which prompted criticism. Head coach Gary Kubiak said it was for his great play in the game and not for his TKO of Finnegan.

It was a controversial postgame reward due to what occurred, but whatever the circumstances were, it was a reward, just like his non-suspension.

Johnson was apologetic and was rewarded in one way or another, but the league acted correctly in the end.

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