As you know by now, both Channing Crowder and Matt Light have been fined $15,000 for their little altercation on Sunday. But this has set off a firestorm all over the internet regarding how these 2 punishments are the same.
Dolphins blogs/websites all over are filled with angry mobs who don't understand how Light gets the same penalty as Crowder even though Light threw (and landed) 2 or 3 punches at Crowder's head while holding onto Channing's hair. Crowder, on the other hand, did nothing but run away once he got out of Light's grasp, never throwing a punch. Our community is up in arms over this. Readers commenting at PFT also don't get it. Even the South Florida media doesn't understand it.
So I sent an e-mail to the NFL's Senior Vice President of Public Relations, Greg Aiello, to ask him what went into this decision to make both penalties the same even though it was Light throwing the punches - not Crowder. Here's what Aiello responded with:
Both players were fined for a verbal and physical altercation. Our office fully reviewed the facts by talking to both players and others with knowledge of what happened. That review determined that Channing Crowder bore responsibility for verbally instigating the altercation in violation of our on-field policies.
I really do appreciate Greg taking the time to respond to me. But I don't necessarily agree with the thought process here. It seems like the NFL is saying that it's just as bad to "verbally instigate" the fight as it is to physically throw punches. It must fall under the logic that if Channing doesn't instigate the fight, then Light never throws his punches.
I guess us fans and the NFL will just have to agree to disagree on this one. But again, it's mighty nice of Aiello to respond to a blogger like myself. At least the NFL cares somewhat about what we think - even if we disagree.
Thoughts on this?