Raheem Brock was hit with a $15,000 fine on Wednesday for his low hit on Ben Roethlisberger during Saturday's matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers. Roethlisberger crumpled to the ground after the hit, bending awkwardly as Brock tumbled into his legs. Because of the so-called "Brady Rule," which came about after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suffered a torn ACL following a similar hit three years ago, Brock was flagged on the play and ultimately fined by the league.
On Thursday morning, Brock tweeted the following, saying he plans to appeal the fine.
Here's a snapshot of me getting tripped into the QB by the oline----> http://seattle.sbnation.com/seattle-seahawks/2011/9/21/2441409/raheem-brock-ben-roethlisberger-hit-fine-roger-goodell about to send this in to appeal this 15k fine!
The link is to something we posted earlier this week, which shows Brock being tripped by the Steelers' right tackle. As Brock rushed Roethlisberger, he spun over his right shoulder, beating the right tackle to the inside and opening a clear path to the quarterback. But as he spun, the video shows the offensive lineman sticking out his leg in an attempt to trip him.
The trip threw Brock off-balance, sending him tumbling towards Roethlisberger, with his momentum carrying him into the Steelers' quarterback's leg. While it was unfortunate Roethlisberger went down with an injury -- he did return later -- there was nothing malicious about Brock's intentions. In the split-second it took for Brock to lose his balance, there was little he could do to halt him momentum, and the hit was more an unfortunate accident than an attempt to injure.
Hopefully Brock wins his appeal and walks away from this mess without taking a hit in the pocketbook. Yes, $15,000 isn't a huge sum of money for an NFL player, but the principle of it all makes the fine worth appealing. If the NFL is going to fine players for incidental hits that are, essentially, unavoidable, it sets a dangerous precedent, allowing the league to dole out punishments that fly in the face of the evidence on hand.
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