NFL: Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan Should Not Be Fined

Dexter RogersCorrespondent INovember 30, 2010

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 28:  Wide receiver Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans is separated by umpire Garth DeFerlice #53 from cornerback Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans after the two exchanged punches in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The NFL is such a hypocritical sport.  It is going overboard with fining players for displaying emotions that are associated with a violent physical game.

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan got suspended $25,000 for their recent publicized fight. 

It is common knowledge Johnson and Finnegan have a history.  They were jawing at each other before tempers flared.  Finnegan, as usually is the case, was the instigator.  Johnson grew weary of Finnegan’s actions and he basically kicked his butt.

I say big deal.

What exactly did Johnson and Finnegan do wrong?  One guy instigates another and they have a brief scuffle. 

Last time I checked football was a physical sport played by grown men who sometimes lose their tempers.  It is a shame players have to be fined for engaging in a mere extension of the game.

How often do you see those types of scuffles in a year?

Here is a vantage point to ponder.  Why are so many of you allowing the all-mighty media to alter your perception to a point where you fail to look beyond what is really transpiring?

The media, along with the gracious help from league commissioners have many believing being physical in a physical game is punishable by fines in sports like football yet accepted in hockey.

I can see fining players for what Albert Haynesworth did when he purposely stepped on a Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman’s face a few years ago.  That was just idiotic and not part of the game.  But what Johnson and Finnegan did should not be an issue.

Let’s examine further.

How can sports fans can watch a hockey game and see five to 10 fights a game but that is not considered a big deal? 

Fighting in the NHL is characterized as part of the culture of the game.  The unnecessary violence is so interwoven into the NHL that the referees stand by and let the players have at it before they break it up.

Why is it that when football players that play a brutal contact sport are fined for fighting yet it is encouraged in the NHL?

The likes of ESPN glorify the NHL by showing the fights in it a manner where the behavior is embraced. 

When the likes of Johnson get and Finnegan throw blows it is all of a sudden not part of the game.  They commentators talk about it in a negative fashion as they persistently show replay after replay of the incident.

Many sports fans get so caught up in what they see they fail to extend their minds to a point of logical comparison.  It is not fans fault though: The media just does a clever job of conditioning everyone.

The reason NHL players get away with fighting is because it is a white population.  It is an extension of the freedom that has been granted to whites for centuries that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Sports where African-Americans dominate from a player-representation standpoint are often monitored with rigid strict rules. 

The NBA and NFL are 80 and 68 percent African-American while the NHL is over 90 percent white.

Let’s take the NBA.  Several years ago a dress code was implemented.  Commissioner David Stern didn’t like the players were coming to the arenas wearing do-rags, sweats, baggy pants and their bling.  It was deemed to not be professional attire therefore the dress code was implemented to change how athletes came to work.

This year the Stern suggested the fans have grown weary of players complaining about calls to referees and questioning authority.  So Stern implemented the “respect for the game” rule.  It basically gives referees the authority to ration out technical fouls for anyone who questions authority or shows a level of emotion that is unacceptable.

I watched a Miami Heat game awhile back: LeBron James was called for a call.  All he did was walk away and raise his arms like, “How could you make that call” and he was hit with a technical foul.

The restrictive practices placed on athletes are a reflection of the society that created them. 

Now it is time for some historical precedents.

In sports African-Americans once ruled the Kentucky Derby.  In the first Derby 13-15 riders were African-American.  Of the first 28 Derby’s ran 15 were won by African-American riders.

In 1894 the Jockey Club was formed to curtail African-American dominance.  They granted licenses to riders they wanted in the race.  Of course there were no African-Americans in the club.

Guess who did not get licenses?

In society it was deemed in appropriate for African-Americans to march and demand their Civil Rights in the 1960’s.  For African-Americans to claim that which they were entitled (rights) meant being subject to being bit by dogs, sprayed with water-hoses or beaten.

In sports when Wilt Chamberlain dominated basketball to such a degree the NBA widened the lane.  When Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) dominated college basketball they banned dunking.

We all know whites dominate tennis.  John McEnroe is the poster-boy of yelling at referees. Whenever you hear the words, “You cannot be serious” you know who said.  McEnroe is still celebrated for his antics after all these years.  Rarely is he vilified.

Two years ago Serena Williams was given the stiffest fine in tennis history.  She was fined $82,500 and placed on two years probation for berating an official in her semi-final match against Kim Clijsters. 

Williams was upset a linesperson for calling a foot fault on her.  She clearly lost her cool.  Williams suggested she wanted to shove the (expletive) tennis ball down her throat.

Williams doesn’t have a rap sheet like McEnroe. She is not known for temper-tantrums.  I’ve seen worse tantrums. 

There have been plenty of whites like McEnroe and Andy Roddick today who have blown up.  That being said why was Williams fined the most by any player in the sport when she doesn’t have a history of berating officials?

Bottom line: Such restrictions are levied against African-Americans in society and sports to limit their distinct means of expression. 

Why do you think excessive celebrating in the NFL is penalized?

Which brings me to my point: What is good for the goose should be good for the gander.  If NHL players play a physical game and act like hooligans yet it is depicted as part of the game why aren’t NFL players treated the same?

When Johnson and Finnegan fight the first thing that pops into mind is, “How much will they get fined?”

When NHL players fight it is revered to a point of acceptance that is not punishable by fines but cheered as entertainment.

The only thing I ask for is a level on consistency.

You see my point?

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