Sunday’s Rugby World Cup clash between Australia and Wales was dominated by talk about the refereeing, with Samu Kerevi’s penalty for leading with the arm one of the more controversial calls by French referee Romain Poite.
Easy solution – ban French refs from the Rugby World Cup, which is something that I’m sure Springbok fans, as well as Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas, would welcome.
Jokes aside, clamping down on potentially dangerous play is necessary in the modern professional era. The NFL has long been under the microscope for its approach to head injuries, and the organisation has been applauded for taking action with regards to the incident below.
Vontaze Burfict (the kind of name that Key & Peele would have an absolute field day with) has been banned for the rest of the season for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle, reports the Guardian:
Burfict was ejected from Sunday’s game, which the Raiders won 31-24, for the hit but on Monday the league decided to take further action against a player with a rocky disciplinary history…
“There were no mitigating circumstances on this play,” the NFL’s vice president of football operations, Jon Runyan, wrote in a letter to Burfict explaining his suspension. “Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game. Following each of your previous rule violations, you were warned by me and each of the jointly appointed officers that future violations would result in escalated accountability measures. However, you have continued to flagrantly abuse rules designated to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.”
When we say helmet-to-helmet, we mean it, and slow-motion replays only further illustrate how dangerous the hit was:
KICK VONTAZE BURFICT OUT FOREVER!!! pic.twitter.com/91IQghasuf
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 29, 2019
In this video, you can actually see him laughing as he’s ejected from the field:
Raiders Vontaze Burfict out for the year after a helmet-to-helmet hit during yesterday’s Raiders-Colts game. Burfict was ejected from the game. Now he’s been handed the longest punishment for an on-field act in NFL history. #VontazeBurfict #raiders #nfl pic.twitter.com/qgF2io60uI
— Anthony Leong (@anthonyleong83) September 30, 2019
For a few more angles, you can watch this YouTube video.
As is usually the case, the player’s head coach, Jon Gruden, defended his actions, saying he thinks it was “a tough call”.
I’m not sure he’s going to get much support on that front.
During Burfict’s suspension, he will not get paid, meaning he will lose out on his estimated $1,15 million salary.
As mentioned earlier, this isn’t his first brush with foul play, and there are a few compilation videos out there highlighting some of his past indiscretions.
We will finish with this one:
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