By Ashley Dunkak
The NFL has already hit Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell with five fines this season, according to ESPN, for a total amount close to $45,000. Mitchell claims the league is targeting him. He called out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell because he feels he is being fined inconsistently. He also said the money from fines goes “right into Rogers’s pocket.”
Perhaps the most interesting comment from Mitchell, though, came when he compared his play to that of others.
“I’m just being targeted because I play football and am physical,” Mitchell said. “I’m not out here cheap-shotting guys or doing dirty plays like you’ve seen people from Detroit do. I’m not going to name any names, but I’m not out here doing those things, so why I’m getting fined I have no idea.”
Of course, it does not take a rocket scientist to decipher Mitchell’s reference to Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. One of the best defensive players in the NFL, Suh received numerous Rookie of the Year awards when he first came into the league, and he has been to the Pro Bowl twice, but he carries a reputation as a dirty player.
Suh received a $100,000 fine early this season for an illegal block on Minnesota center John Sullivan and got docked another $31,500 for a hit on Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden. Though Suh will not travel to New York during the Lions’ bye week to discuss his play with NFL officials, as he was invited to do, he will talk with them via video chat.
As for Mitchell, he does not plan to change his style of play, fines or no fines.
“I’m not getting penalties, I’m not playing dirty, I’m not hitting anyone to the head,” Mitchell said. “If you want to fine me on these little judgmental things, keep them coming. It’s a write-off.”