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Ray Lewis fined for hit on Hines Ward

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

On Sunday night, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis applied a clear helmet-to-helmet hit to Steelers receiver Hines Ward after Ward caught a pass.  Lewis wasn’t penalized for a blow that caused Ward to leave the game with what the team eventually (and perhaps reluctantly) called “concussion-like symptoms.”

Lewis is now suffering from a case of fine-like symptoms.

Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times reports that Lewis has been notified by the league office that he’s been fined for the illegal hit on a defenseless receiver.

“Yeah, I heard from the league and like I said they fined me whatever they was going to fine me,” Lewis said.  “The thing is you definitely respect them trying to protect player safety.  At the same time, it won’t change not one way I play this week no matter what the fine is.  You can’t stop playing defense the way defense has always been created to play.  When the receiver has the ball, your job is to disengage him from the ball.  You never want to hurt nobody.  I’ve been in this business too long.  I just think once you start getting into these fines I don’t know how they come up with the numbers most of the time.”

Lewis didn’t disclose the amount.  (And no one apparently has had the nerve to ask him.)

The bigger problem is that the officials, who are told to err on the side of protecting players, failed to penalize Lewis.  The best way to avoid such outcomes would be to make these calls immediately reviewable by the replay officials, without the time-wasting, dog-and-pony exercise of the referee walking over to the sidelines, putting on a headset, talking to the replay official, climbing under the hood of the mobile ballot box, pondering the replay angles, removing the headset, walking out onto the field, and providing an explanation that often is way too wordy, especially when Ed Hochuli is working the game.

It’s a helmet-to-helmet hit, or it isn’t.  The replay official should have the power to throw the flag from the replay booth.

I don’t mean that literally.  Then again, it could be fun to watch the yellow flag sail down from the second deck.

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85 Responses to “Ray Lewis fined for hit on Hines Ward”
  1. revrondog says: Nov 9, 2011 1:42 PM

    Like Ray Lewis is ever going to lighten up on a big hit.

  2. therealjr says: Nov 9, 2011 1:42 PM

    Mike, do you realize how ridiculous games would be with replay review for helmet to helmet hits?

    Do you not agree that a great majority of tackles involve some sort of helmet to helmet contact?

    Perhaps the best way is to save the flag for the most egregious violations, skip the replay, and deal with it on a fine/suspension basis afterwards.

  3. worldsgreatest says: Nov 9, 2011 1:43 PM

    Well, we saw this one coming. Definitely should have been called, glad it wasn’t.

  4. sadskinsfan89 says: Nov 9, 2011 1:45 PM

    Should be no flag no fine. Nfl is so inconsistent with these fines.

  5. medtxpack says: Nov 9, 2011 1:46 PM

    i dont think Ray cares he was fined. And dont make those plays reviewable, football will become longer than baseball….booooo

  6. supashug says: Nov 9, 2011 1:47 PM

    he didnt launch, thats why no penalty, very good hit but his helmet did hit the other helmet…how gay is that to say. Helmets cant hit each other in football.

  7. stlsteelerfan says: Nov 9, 2011 1:47 PM

    Or since Harbaugh challenged the play that was initially ruled a catch, perhaps the ref reviewing the play should have the power to say “Since the only reason he dropped the ball was because of an illegal action, it is a catch.”

  8. rayraykills2 says: Nov 9, 2011 1:47 PM

    At least he did not pull a knife on Hines and stab him to disengage the ball!

  9. brooklynniner19 says: Nov 9, 2011 1:48 PM

    Ray Lewis is a thump. I wish he would do that sh*t against Vernon Davis when they play. Patrick Willis will have a way better career than R. Lewis! Go 9ers!!

  10. jpelle82 says: Nov 9, 2011 1:51 PM

    funny how clark got called for it but lewis didnt…the call on clark led to a fg before the half which in turn cost the steelers the game. the non call on lewis cost the steelers a first down and fg range. clark’s was borderline and lewis’s was obvious.

  11. talkintrashallday says: Nov 9, 2011 1:52 PM

    the commissioner fined Ray Lewis? what a douche….

  12. davemeisner says: Nov 9, 2011 1:53 PM

    I think everyone can agree that Ward deserved to get lit up though.

  13. jamaltimore says: Nov 9, 2011 1:55 PM

    Every week there are about 1 or 2 true helmet to helmet hits, the rest are blown calls. The rule should be that if ANY part of the defensive players body touches the offensive player before the helmets colide it is no longer a helmet to helmet hit. Most of these guys make contact first and then hit helmets like what happened in Ray’s case.

  14. jobotjones says: Nov 9, 2011 1:55 PM

    they flagged ryan clark for basically the same hit…when will this end???

  15. steelersownyou says: Nov 9, 2011 1:56 PM

    Told you he would get fined. Can we get the personal foul thatthe ref didnt call? That woulda put us 1st & goal at the 5 yard line! Like I said cryven fans have got every break. Any justice in this world..see ya in january! Cant wait!

  16. concussionlikesympton says: Nov 9, 2011 1:56 PM

    Paying out large sums of money due to his violent actions (both on AND off the field) is old hat for Lewis.

    Compared to what he had to pay for lawyers, civil settlements, and a record NFL fine for his little adventure in Atlanta a few years ago, this thing with Ward amounts to “chump change”.

  17. weismobile says: Nov 9, 2011 1:57 PM

    Tell me there’s one Ravens fan in America who didn’t LOVE seeing that hit.

  18. Steeler's Will says: Nov 9, 2011 1:58 PM

    Eh, if it doesn’t get flagged, no sense getting excited about a fine. I noticed that the hit on Ward represents about 50% of RayRay’s contribution to the entire game. What’s up?

  19. flabtreesports says: Nov 9, 2011 1:59 PM

    Clark’s was decidedly not “borderline”. Watch both in slow motion.

  20. joetorious says: Nov 9, 2011 2:01 PM

    A flag and/or refusal to overturn the ruling on the field (especially after seeing the clear screw-up of not calling a penalty when reviewing the play) would have been much more timely and helpful.

  21. samsara76 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:01 PM

    Lewis should be given a bonus.

    Ward is the a dirty player. He deserves to get taken out of the league by injury. Just ask Keith Rivers.

    BTW.. Steelers will be losing this weekend.

  22. humbleminded85 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:01 PM

    That picture made my day. Knocked that smile sideways!!

  23. whodeydaytonchapter says: Nov 9, 2011 2:03 PM

    You always hate to witness has been on has been crime. Very upsetting.

  24. bonniebengal says: Nov 9, 2011 2:03 PM

    Sounds like poetic justice to me. Hines Ward has gotten away with some dirty hits himself.

  25. jpb12 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:03 PM

    I’m sure Suggs and Co. will gladly pay the fine.

  26. uwachampion says: Nov 9, 2011 2:03 PM

    Yet another blown call. Its ok. Fans should be used to it this year.

  27. terrellpryorstattooartist says: Nov 9, 2011 2:05 PM

    Why don’t the NFL invest this fine money into developing safer equiptment because I have a hard time beliving that helmet to helmet hits just magically increased in the past couple years maybe the helmets are just outdated for the speed and impacts of today’s NFL

  28. cryptker says: Nov 9, 2011 2:05 PM

    Make sure you protect those steelers….

  29. jakek2 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:05 PM

    National Fairy League

  30. getyourownname says: Nov 9, 2011 2:07 PM

    He’s probably not worried because the rest of the League will chip in to help pay any fine for hitting Ward.

  31. runrickyrun34 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:08 PM

    Lewis did hit Ward in the helmet and should’ve been flagged if that’s the rule. But to say Clark’s hit was borderline makes you delusional. I don’t know what game you were watching but my friends who are Steelers fans said both should’ve been called but only one was, which I agree with (even if I don’t agree with the rule itself).

  32. steelhammer92 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:09 PM

    Inconsistency is the problem. Every time there is a big hit, you have to wait 5 seconds to make sure there is no flag so you can celebrate. It’s a joke. Making every play reviewable will make it even worse. The days of highlight reel hits are coming to an end. Instead these plays are replayed over and over on TV and scrutinized and dissected in super-slow motion. This trend all started when ESPN removed their popular segment “Jacked Up” because it celebrated violence. How laughable is that? Ironic considering it was taken off the air during the same time period Goodell took over as commissioner.

  33. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou says: Nov 9, 2011 2:11 PM

    And not a single tear was shed.

    Well maybe by Hines.

  34. yzguy431 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:13 PM

    this game is ridiculous anymore.

  35. steelersmichele says: Nov 9, 2011 2:14 PM

    I seem to remember harbaugh commenting last season that helmet to helmet hits were no longer part of the game and that his team knew that and was following league rules. Guess he was wrong.

  36. romoscollarbone says: Nov 9, 2011 2:26 PM

    The penalty should be called for leading w/ the helmet. That’s it. You can’t start reviewing things of this nature. What if you’re in the 2minute. And this occurs, all momentum is lost for the offense, because the defensive player, may or may not of contacted the receiver w/ his helmet.

  37. worldsgreatest says: Nov 9, 2011 2:30 PM

    The difference is Clark has a history of hits meant to destroy. See: 2008 AFC Championship near crippling hit on Willis McGahee

  38. kevamo says: Nov 9, 2011 2:30 PM

    Concussion like symptoms is a joke, that is like saying Abraham Lincoln suffered gun shot like symptoms at the play

  39. selfoptima says: Nov 9, 2011 2:31 PM

    Just let em play.

  40. cd_ridge says: Nov 9, 2011 2:33 PM

    As a Steelers fan, I would have rather have the 15 yards and a 1st down. I am sure that the bounty he collected more than covered the fine.

  41. EJ says: Nov 9, 2011 2:34 PM

    I wonder who in the league has the most fines?

  42. dexterismyhero says: Nov 9, 2011 2:37 PM

    Now Hines is gonna say that Ray ran into his car making it go up on the curb and it disoriented me………………

  43. stanmark says: Nov 9, 2011 2:41 PM

    Hines Ward has made a long list of enemies, and a long list of highlight reels by seeking out defenseless players and “blocking” them. Not surprised at all to see him go out like this. Not saying that he deserves it, but, he deserves it.

  44. hepkat25 says: Nov 9, 2011 2:41 PM

    “The difference is Clark has a history of hits meant to destroy. See: 2008 AFC Championship near crippling hit on Willis McGahee”

    And Ray Lewis doesn’t? Good god, you’re a blind homer.

  45. cowboyhater says: Nov 9, 2011 2:52 PM

    Something about Lewis that rubs me the wrong way. He always speaks about righteousness, and morality but it seems a bit insincere to me.

  46. pskotte says: Nov 9, 2011 3:06 PM

    Love it whenever Whines Hard gets a taste of his own dirty play. Thanks, Ray.

  47. corvusrex96 says: Nov 9, 2011 3:24 PM

    Ravens beat the Steelers twice AND Sliding Hiney gets leveled in both games (game 1 clean hit by Jarrett Johnson, game 2 illegal hit by Ray Lewis)

    What a great year to watch the NFL!

  48. sojumaster says: Nov 9, 2011 3:34 PM

    Surpised that Ray will not say anything in regards to the amount of the fine. I thought the information came from goodell’s office.

  49. tomtravis76 says: Nov 9, 2011 3:35 PM

    I don’t think any of these guys would want to be responsible in causing any long term injuries to their fellow league members.
    If you watch Hines on that catch it sure looks like he dipped his head and that causes Ray to go helmet to helmet. Ray Lewis has to protect himsef as well from the offenisve players helmet causing him any harm. The offenisve players are getting off really easy in these helmet to helmet hits. It seems that you would have to change the way offenses play, so you even the playing field.

  50. citizenstrange says: Nov 9, 2011 3:48 PM

    A third grader knows you have to flag both hits or neither.

  51. steellady says: Nov 9, 2011 3:59 PM

    Tom i agree.. if it is TRULY about safety then both sides of the ball have to have regulations.

  52. fmwarner says: Nov 9, 2011 4:02 PM

    You can try to legislate safety, but you can’t fully fix it. You can try helmets with all the latest technology, but you can’t fully fix it.

    The reality is that football at a very basic level is going to cause hits like this. It can’t be avoided. Some things simply cannot be fixed because they are fundamentally unsolvable. The only way to fix concussions is to stop tackling, and then it’s not football anymore. That’s why I think football is going to slowly fade away over the next few decades. Parents aren’t going to sign their kids up for this.

    Players are bigger and faster and stronger all the time, so the hits just keep getting harder. I’m skeptical that there is any solution, but the one I think has the best chance is to implement a weight limit by position. Hits won’t be as vicious when you have a 210 pound linebacker demolishing someone instead of a 260 pound linebacker.

  53. badcomp says: Nov 9, 2011 4:04 PM

    As a Seahawks fan, I will personally pay this for Ray. Great hit babyyyyyyyyyyyy

  54. ravenousmike says: Nov 9, 2011 4:06 PM

    Everyone wears helmets I thought. Its PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL!

  55. somesome says: Nov 9, 2011 4:12 PM

    Both plays based on current rules should have been flagged.

    No refs ruling cost the Steelers the game, they took two touchdowns form the Ravens with bad calls too. Steelers inability to stop the Ravens cost them the game.

    anybody putting Clark, Harrison and Lewis in the same category of dirty player just absolutely knows nothing about the game. Harrisona dn Clark go for the head, Ray makes first contact with his shoulder and rides up into the WRs head.

    Ray Lewis is the greatest tackler in the game – EVER. No comparison, not even a distant second.
    Harrison and Clark try to hit a player when they could have just tackled them. The Steeler fans comments here are just ridiculous and to meet the Ravens again in January the Steelers have to make the playoffs first

  56. jjackwagon says: Nov 9, 2011 4:16 PM

    Any hit on Whines Hard is a good hit.

  57. bmoreballbuster says: Nov 9, 2011 4:17 PM

    Ray’s already written the next check in ADVANCE! Bring it on, CERTAINLY Ray will!

  58. zoltar9802 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:23 PM

    steelers fans are funny.

  59. carnboys says: Nov 9, 2011 4:27 PM

    Hines Ward(Smiley) for many years cheap shot players on the field.

  60. tatum064 says: Nov 9, 2011 4:55 PM

    Ward had it coming …. he broke Keith Rivers jaw on one crack back and had numerous cheap shots.

    Anything that is owed, Ray Lewis will guarantee.

  61. childressrulz says: Nov 9, 2011 4:58 PM

    I am not a Ray Lewis fan but I would have given him a reward if I was the comish. Finally someone knocked that smug smile off of Ward’s face. Ward is done as a football player.

  62. citizenstrange says: Nov 9, 2011 5:04 PM

    Ray Lewis is far from Mr. Clean. He got fined for a helmet to helmet hit and kicking in the same game in 2009 against the Bengals.

    — is it “illegal” to post links here? everytime I do the post gets deleted so I’ve stopped —

    Here is a paragraph from Jamison Hensley’s 10/16/2009 ESPN article.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been fined a total of $25,000 by the NFL for two separate violations in the fourth quarter of Baltimore’s last-minute loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

    Chad Ochocinco lost only his helmet when the full force of Ray Lewis met him in the fourth quarter Sunday.
    One fine is for Lewis’ helmet-to-helmet hit on Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco. The other was for an incident on a pass play late in the game; the league said Lewis “unnecessarily kicked” a Bengals player.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  63. dayumyou says: Nov 9, 2011 5:18 PM

    Ray Ray is a dirty rat bird…plain and simple…he’ll get what’s coming to him they always do!!

  64. worldsgreatest says: Nov 9, 2011 5:23 PM

    Going by Wards very public stance on playing through concussions, he is a quitter for not going back in.

  65. steelersownyou says: Nov 9, 2011 5:25 PM

    I love that everyone hates hines, the steelers & fans of the steelers. That means youre the top team in the nfl. I’d be more worried if nobody commented on the steelers. So I just wanna thank everyone for their jealousy & envy! Cause I absolutely LOVE IT! VIVA STEELERS!

  66. PCa Survivor says: Nov 9, 2011 5:34 PM

    Just wondered what Walt Coleman thought when he went under the hood to view Harbaugh’s challenge of a completed catch? — Oh crap, we’re going to get downgraded for missing this one

  67. st1llerz1 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:34 PM

    somesome says:

    The Steeler fans comments here are just ridiculous and to meet the Ravens again in January the Steelers have to make the playoffs first.

    Last I checked, the crows are 1/2 game up on the Steelers. The season is a long one. You might want to take a look at the game tapes from Jacksonville and Arizona. Find that level of play for a few weeks and the crows will be right back where they belong.

    Go Steelers!

  68. steelernation1 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:41 PM

    supashug says:
    Nov 9, 2011 1:47 PM
    he didnt launch, thats why no penalty, very good hit but his helmet did hit the other helmet…how gay is that to say. Helmets cant hit each other in football.

    you dont have to launch to do it intentionally when the receiver has his back to you and you intentionally put your helmet out at the receiver first then it should have been a penalty.but he got away with it during the game.and now he will be a target like harrison was last year.

  69. steelernation1 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:44 PM

    worldsgreatest says:
    Nov 9, 2011 5:23 PM
    Going by Wards very public stance on playing through concussions, he is a quitter for not going back in.

    you need your head examined douche bag.when a player gets a concussion the team takes the helmet from the receiver letting them know they are not aloud back in the game by league rules..so your comment is dumb .say nothing unless you know what you are talking about

  70. steelernation1 says: Nov 9, 2011 5:47 PM

    cowboyhater says:
    Nov 9, 2011 2:52 PM
    Something about Lewis that rubs me the wrong way. He always speaks about righteousness, and morality but it seems a bit insincere to me.
    ………………………………………………………………………….

    you noticed that also?lol i thought i was the only one..guess he speaks of a different god..

  71. worldsgreatest says: Nov 9, 2011 6:00 PM

    Hey Steelernation! How are you? I hope your day has been good: you seem grumpy.

    I know the rules perfectly well. So lighten up as I comment snarkily on Ward ignorantly questioning the toughness of teammates, publically, based on not playing through concussions.

    Have a cheeseburger.

  72. watermelon1 says: Nov 9, 2011 6:02 PM

    There’s one MAJOR difference between Ray Lewis’s hits that make contact with a helmet, and Ryan Clark’s helmet to helmet hits.

    When Ray Lewis tackles, he is ALWAYS looking at who he is hitting. Ryan Clark ALWAYS has his head down, staring at the ground, clearly USING his helmet.

    Ryan Clark simply doesn’t know how to tackle. Ray Lewis tackles hard, and when you’re leaning forward your head will most likely make contact with something. If the ball carrier lowers his head… you’re probably going to make contact with his head.

  73. broomehandle says: Nov 9, 2011 6:52 PM

    I’m just waiting for Mr. Goodell to tell all the players to remove their pads and play flag football.

  74. bcgreg says: Nov 9, 2011 6:52 PM

    Do you think Ray Lewis really cares?

    Also, does anyone know how to see the list of stories you post on? I used to be able to, but they changed the format and haven’t figured out how to see it. Any help would be appreciated.

  75. deadguy73 says: Nov 9, 2011 7:15 PM

    At least Hines will take his hit and not cry about it.

    I need to face facts. The football I love is dying. I didn’t have a problem with any of the hits during this game and I really don’t care if Lewis got fined. The real travesty is the inconsistency of the calls. It’s ruining the game.

    And… if they actually want to eliminate these hits, get rid of the pads and helmets. They make this game more violent.

  76. das14 says: Nov 9, 2011 7:22 PM

    This isn’t the era to play defense in the NFL. If I was a 2 sport althelete and played defense ,coming out of college…. it would be an easy decision.

  77. Deb says: Nov 9, 2011 7:30 PM

    The appropriate response to a personal foul is to throw a flag, mark off the yards, and move on. What purpose is served by fining players after the game is over??

    If Goodell wants to better protect players, he should be working on better helmet design instead of issuing pointless, petty fines. Funny, but he never seemed concerned about these issues until a) Congress came knocking, and b) high-scoring offenses increased revenues by attracting more (uninformed) female and casual viewers. This isn’t about protecting players. It’s about covering the NFL’s backside with Congress and increasing casual viewership by castrating defenses.

  78. nofunleague says: Nov 9, 2011 7:57 PM

    Whatever the fine it was worth it to knock that sh*t eating grin of of cheap shot Wards face. And to all of the Ray Lewis haters, I had no idea so many of you were in Atlanta to witness what happened. And as for the crying ravens name, who is crying Pittsburg. If you were any good you would have stopped the 80 yard drive with a minute and change to go. Sure bring on January. then we will sweep the year not just the series. You keep crying about breaks. The biggest break you got was keeping Rapelessburger out of jail. But oh yeah, I wasn’t there so who am I to say.

  79. nofunleague says: Nov 9, 2011 8:08 PM

    I would also like to say, and not on the Ray Lewis hit, but other plays in the NFL. If leading with the helmet is against the rules and the league really cares about safety, then stop the runners from lowering and leading with the helmet. The defensive players bends down to put his shoulder into the runners waist and then the runner leans over and hits the defensive player helmet to helmet and it’s the defensive players fault. Not good.

  80. stevenfbrackett says: Nov 9, 2011 8:13 PM

    “I’m not going to follow the rules and you can’t make me!!” *foot stomp* * pout* “You, stupid butt!”

    Yeah, Ray, that’s exactly what you sound like – in three year old.

  81. winnersagain says: Nov 9, 2011 8:25 PM

    That must be tough for “Washed up Lewis”. He could have used the “Fine Money” for a ticket to watch the Steelers in the Superbowl this year.

  82. jimeejohnson says: Nov 9, 2011 8:46 PM

    “Nice guys finish last.”

  83. 52raylewis says: Nov 9, 2011 8:59 PM

    “Patrick Willis will have a way better career than R. Lewis.”

    That is literally the funniest thing I’ve ever read in PFT comments.

  84. 2ndaryinsanity says: Nov 10, 2011 1:49 AM

    Ahhh…it’s so refreshing to have a player get fined without pissing and moaning about how unfair it is, or that Goodell is picking on him. Thanks, Ray! I just wish the cry-baby steelers and their fans could do the same.
    I love Hines Ward, but karma bit him in the a##

  85. chet1245 says: Nov 14, 2011 5:34 PM

    Instead of a fine, why not eject the offender and then penalize him by suspending him for twice as long as the hurt player is out. This would put a stop to it!

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