Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has a well-earned reputation as one of the NFL’s dirtiest players, but it was an opponent who did something dirty to Burfict on Sunday.
Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda spat at Burfict while Yanda was standing and Burfict was lying on the ground during Sunday’s game.
The video is clear: There’s a pileup with some pushing and shoving on both sides, and Burfict is in the middle of it, as he so often is. But afterward, Yanda stood up and leaned over Burfict, and spit clearly came out of Yanda’s mouth and toward Burfict.
It’s unclear in the video whether the spit actually landed on Burfict, and given Burfict’s non-reaction, it seems likely that it didn’t. But there’s no question that Yanda spat in Burfict’s direction. It was a dirty and disgusting move that should have no place in the NFL.
The NFL has disciplined players for spitting on opponents in the past. Dallas’s Terrell Owens was fined $35,000 for spitting on Atlanta’s DeAngelo Hall. Washington’s Sean Taylor was ejected from a playoff game and fined $17,000 for spitting at Tampa Bay’s Michael Pittman. Tampa Bay’s Hardy Nickerson was fined $17,000 for spitting on Carolina’s William Floyd. Denver’s Bill Romanowski was fined $7,500 for spitting on San Francisco’s J.J. Stokes. Oakland’s Regan Upshaw was fined $29,000 (one week’s salary) for spitting on Pittsburgh’s Josh Miller.
Yanda should expect a fine as well. That was a dirty play.