PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Steelers safety Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 Wednesday for a hit in Sunday night’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
It’s the second straight week Clark has been fined, as he received a $15,000 fine last week for a hit against the New England Patriots. Clark actually spoke out in approval for the first fine, but he wasn’t as supportive of the league’s decision on Wednesday.
Quite simply, Clark said “this time it’s wrong.”
“We watched this in slo-mo as a team, and as a team say if you’re going to dislodge the ball from somebody, this is the legal way to do it,” Clark said. “This is what we talked about in our meeting.”
Clark hit Ravens wide receiver Ed Dickson down field, jarring the ball loose and causing an incompletion. His helmet grazed the facemask of Dickson, but most of the impact appeared to be between Clark’s shoulder and the chest of the receiver.
Clark was flagged on the play, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin pointed out to his players this week that Clark — despite the flag — made the perfect play to dislodge the ball from the receiver.
“I think the fine that Ryan Clark received was excessive,” Tomlin said in a statement. “I am a proponent of player safety and the league’s pursuit of improvement in this area. I, like the vast majority of people in this industry, witness daily the steep price that these young men pay to play this game on so many levels.
“Ryan has my full support if he chooses to appeal this in any way.”
Clark says he expects to appeal the fine, but he’s not optimistic the penalty will change.
“I mean you can appeal but I’m appealing to the same person (Roger Goodell),” he said. “The same man (that issued the fine). I know he’s not going to sit across from because I’m not going to sit across from him unless they handcuff me, which is probably the next step anyway.”
Other quotables from Clark regarding the fine:
- “There wasn’t anything malicious about it. It wasn’t a spear. It wasn’t a forearm to the head. It wasn’t any of those things and to be fined $40,000 for that? To me it’s either targeting me as a single player or it’s targeting this team.”
- “I was actually expecting to get a call back and say that it wasn’t wrong, because it wasn’t. I did everything I was asked to do and Goodell and all those other guys, they sit in their office with their suits and make these decisions on what a split-second reaction by the player is and this time it’s wrong.”
- “Am I supposed to let him catch it and then wait for him and hug him? Should I throw a pillow at him? Should I blow a whistle? ‘Hey look, I’m about to tackle you.’ No, that’s not football.”