It appears as though Andre Johnson won’t be suspended by the NFL for fighting Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan on Sunday. Nor should he be.
Finnegan has a reputation for being a dirty player and has already been warned by the league that another finable offense could lead to a suspension. I would consider shoving a forearm into a receiver and instigating a fight would fall under the category of “finable.”
Let’s be clear here: Johnson was wrong. While he has every right to defend himself, there was no reason for him to throw any punches. His emotions got the best of him and he allowed Finnegan to get under his skin. There were a lot of people who cheered his actions on Sunday, but the bottom line is that there were children in the stands and there’s just no place in the game for players taking swings at each other. Look at the video below. An adult may throw out a bunch of “oohs” and “ahs” but this isn’t boxing. Smaller children don’t need to see that at a football game.
That said, Finnegan, for lack of a better word, is a punk. Right before he jabbed Johnson in the mouth, he reportedly looked towards the Texans’ sidelines and said, “Watch this.” If that report is true, then his actions were premeditated (look at me breaking out the lawyer speak) and therefore he should be suspended.
But Johnson? No way. Fine him, yes. Suspend him, no. He doesn’t have a history of incidents and if the league wants to get to the root of the issue in this case, it’s Finnegan’s actions.