The NFL is currently reviewing Thursday night’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. During a kick return by Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones, the Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, stepped on to the field seemingly to purposely distract Jones and slow down his progress towards the end zone. There has been non final decision to come out of the NFL headquarters but there has been talk that Tomlin’s “mockery of the game” could cost the Steeler’s organization a draft pick in the upcoming draft and result in a large fine and possible suspension.
Is this possible punishment too harsh? In my opinion, retracting a draft pick from the organization is too harsh of a consequence. This is Mike Tomlin’s fault and the organization should not have to handle the backlash for his poor decision. A draft pick is very valuable to an organization and can negatively affect a team for years. Mike Tomlin has openly admitted that he made a mistake, adding this: “I do it quite often, like everybody else in the National Football League,” Tomlin told news reporters. “I was wrong. I accept responsibility for it.”
A similar on-field/on-court incident occurred recently in the NBA with Brooklyn Nets’ coach Jason Kidd. He purposely poured a drink onto the court to gain an extra timeout for his team. The NBA moved very quickly and came to the decision to fine the coach $50, 000. This poses the question, why is it taking the NFL so long to come to a decision on the Mike Tomlin incident?
Tomlin deserves to face a suspension or large fine; he compromised the integrity of the game. He is a head coach in the NFL and is held to a high standard. This type of behaviour cannot be tolerated. Although the Steelers lost the game and a possible playoff spot in the process, this is an incident that requires attention. This issue can be closely tied to the New York Jets assistant coach and Nolan Carroll of the Miami Dolphins. The coach intentionally tripped Carroll during a punt return and faced a lengthy suspension without pay. Although Tomlin did not make direct contact with Jacoby Jones, it did look clear that he affected the play.