San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Antonio Garay was slapped with a $15,000 fine on Thursday for what was considered by league officials as a hit below the knee on New England Patriots quarterback (and wannabe pop star) Tom Brady.
According to ESPN.com, the hit in question came in the third quarter of the Chargers vs. Patriots game last Sunday. Garay reached his left arm out to sack Brady, however it landed into his left knee.
The Chargers' nose tackle is not known as being a dirty player, but better known for his outrageous and colorful haircuts.
Pictures that accompany the ESPN.com story, shows Garay's arm just slightly above the left knee of Tom Brady who was wearing a protective knee brace.
Brady (the golden boy of the NFL) has seemed to have received more protection from the NFL since suffering a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee back in 2008.
Case in point, Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers was on the receiving end of a vicious hit by Patriots' defensive lineman Andre Carter with 13:16 left in the third quarter.
The hit drew an immediate roughing the passer penalty flag as Carter lifted Rivers off the ground then drove him into the fieldturf.
Garay's hit didn't even draw a penalty flag.
Does this make any sense?
Antonio Garay hits Tom Brady in the knee (while Brady was wearing a brace) and draws a $15,000 fine.
Andre Carter body slams Philip Rivers into the ground, draws a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty and no fine.
I understand the NFL is trying to protect all players, especially quarterbacks, but without being completely biased I believe that Carter's hit should have drew a fine as well.
The NFL as a whole (including commissioner Roger Goodell) need to establish a system for fines that the players know and understand. Just not dish out whatever fines they fee like, when they feel like it. Especially when it comes to protecting (the Justin Bieber lookalike) high-profile, big money superstars.