After Falcons safety Damontae Kazee drilled Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the head while Newton was sliding, Panthers receiver Torrey Smith retaliated by pushing Kazee. The NFL fined both Smith and Kazee an equal amount.
Smith thinks that’s ridiculous, and said so on Twitter.
“How is the shoving fine equal to the actual hit? That’s crazy,” Smith wrote.
Smith compared his $10,026 fine to being forced to pay bail after you’re arrested.
“If you aren’t familiar with the cash bail system it’s just like the NFL in this situation. Someone pulls a random number out of their behind with no real reason for it and you have to deal with it,” Smith wrote.
That comparison might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s easy to see why Smith thinks the punishment didn’t fit the crime here: What Kazee did was a textbook example of the kind of hit the NFL is trying to take out of the game. What Smith did was a fairly ordinary reaction to seeing a teammate take a cheap shot. Smith shouldn’t have retaliated, but the NFL thinking both penalties deserved equal punishment is odd.