George Iloka: Suspensions shouldn’t be for football plays

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Bengals safety George Iloka made a successful appeal of the one-game suspension handed down for a hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in Monday night’s game this week and now he’s making an appeal to the league to not suspend other players for similar plays.

Iloka’s suspension was replaced by a $36,464.50 fine and he said he was OK with players being fined for football plays that cross the line. He also said that suspensions for repeat offenders and plays away from the ball were “understandable” but that suspending players for plays made in the normal course of the game sets “a bad precedent.”

“I’m asking you guys,” Iloka said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “You all watch football. None of y’all are coaches, but you’re reporters and journalists – what would you want your safety on your team to do? Just concede a touchdown? You want your corner to concede he’s out of bounds on the sideline? If that’s what you want, OK. Then when someone tells me that, cool. But that’s not how anybody should want the game to be played — not a fan, not a coach, not a player. Period. So I think that’s what he sees, like man, if you’re suspending guys for football plays, what are we doing then? We’re not playing football. It’s just flag. If you want flag go to your local college intramural league, not what we’re doing here.”

Iloka wasn’t just talking about himself. He took issue with Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster standing over Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict after wiping Burfict out with a blindside block, but not with the suspension that Smith-Schuster received for the block itself.

The NFL doesn’t agree, obviously, and that’s led to the rare issue where members of the Steelers and Bengals are on the same side.

7 responses to “George Iloka: Suspensions shouldn’t be for football plays

  1. what would you want your safety on your team to do? Just concede a touchdown?
    It was well after the touchdown had been scored that you hit him. But at least he concedes JJSS shouldn’t have been suspended.

  2. This issue is Goodell’s creation. It will be the leagues undoing over the next 25 years. ALL these people will need new jobs. I love the NFL but this kind of thing is just ripping me apart when I watch, the game was beautiful and violent, the men expect it to be that way. The man is lawyer and judge…its what he knows. He treats the players like defendants and alters the league all by way of liability. Its a sport, he is ruining it for everyone involved, its not the players man – they are the same self made men as before.

  3. The game Monday Night was out of control. The refs should have brought both head coaches to midfield and read the riot act to the both of them. These head coaches have the ability to control their players, at least most of them. There’s a nasty history of cheap shots and scary hits between these 2 teams. I’m a Packer fan and Da Bears are our natural rival. There’s been some shenanigans over the years but nothing as brutal as I saw Monday Night.
    It has to stop before we have another Darryl Stingley or worse.
    I put the blame on the head coaches and position coaches. Get it under control or the game itself will be destroyed because of potentially lethal hits like the ones I saw in that game.

  4. How about this – you launch into a helmet-to-helmet “football play” on a catch in the end zone, the TD counts AND you get a penalty, ejection, and a fine equal to one game check.
    Quit head hunting, it’s dirty.

  5. Football is violent, it’s no secret. I say let them play and if the players don’t like it they can walk away from their millions of dollars and join the rest of us from 9 to 5.

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