When the NFL opted not to fine 49ers coach “Hacksaw” Jim Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim “the Iron” Schwartz after their post-game scuffle of a week ago, I pointed out that the decision to give them a pass created a clear inconsistency between the treatment of players and coaches. Some, including a couple of the guys who work for PFT, disagreed.
Fortunately, at least a couple of NFL players see it the right way.
Appearing on Thursday night’s edition of NFL Network’s Total Access, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey and Texans receiver Derrick Mason said that Harbaugh and Schwartz should have been fined.
“What if that was a player? How would [the NFL] react to that?,” Bailey said. “These are supposed to be the leaders of our team, and you let them get away with it, so to speak, and now how do you think the players will start acting? I like it personally, but I just know how the NFL operates today, it’s amazing to me they let this slide.”
That’s a common theme. Yes, it was entertaining. And, yes, fines should have been imposed, in light of the things for which the NFL routinely imposes fines.
“I think they should have [been fined], because these are the leaders of your team,” Mason said. “I think the NFL should have slapped them with some type of fine, $5,000 or $10,000 here or there, to at least show them they have to be responsible for what they do on the field.”
Even though there was no fight, Harbaugh and Schwartz created a situation where numerous players and team employees and league employees began pushing and shoving as they tried to break up the potential fight between the two head coaches. Thus, even though the coaches didn’t actually throw off their gloves and swing fists, they created a situation in which others could have ended up fighting. That’s reason enough to impose a fine on the men responsible for creating a potentially volatile situation.