Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I understand that fights are becoming increasingly more common in NFL training camps, but something about this one really bothers me. I have the utmost respect for Steve Smith as a player, and to be honest I really don't think he is a bad guy. He is a family man, works hard for charity, and gives very sincere interviews. However, the Panthers made a very bold decision to suspend him 2 games for his recent actions, and I commend them for this decision.
The main reason I say this, is that given the circumstances of this fight, it was clear that Smith delivered a "cheap shot" to Lucas. Based on accounts from the players, Lucas was kneeling on one knee when Smith attacked him. There is no place for such actions in the NFL. If guys get heated after a drill and they come to blows I have no problem with that. In fact, I encourage such fire and intensity. But this was just wrong, and it wasn't the first time Smith has acted violently towards a teammate. Smith has since apologized, and I am sure that this incident will be long forgotten by the end of the year. But I can't give the Panthers enough credit for making this difficult decision.