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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 11/26/2011

Ndamukong Suh apologizes as Lions weigh in and NFL says it will review incident


Referee Terry McAulay and Ndamukong Suh, who took issue with his ejection for unsportsmanlike conduct Thursday. (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)
A little over 24 hours after he stomped on an opponent — and drew criticism for what seemed to be a lack of remorse about that stomp — Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh apologized.

He wrote on his Facebook page Friday night:

“In the past few hours, I have had time to reflect on yesterday’s game and I want to sincerely apologize for letting my teammates down, the organization, and especially to my fans who look to me for positive inspiration.

“Playing professional sports is not a game. It is a profession with great responsibility, and where performance on and off the field should never be compromised. It requires a calm and determined demeanor, which cannot be derailed by the game, referee calls, fans or other players.

“I want to reiterate my commitment to working to become a better player, and professional—on and off the field. My reaction on Thursday was unacceptable. I made a mistake, and have learned from it. I hope to direct the focus back to the task at hand — by winning.”

Suh was ejected in the third quarter of the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Green Bay Packers after he repeatedly pushed the head of offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith against the turf and stomped on him. Dietrich-Smith was unhurt, but Suh now is the focus of more attention for the way in which he plays. He has been fined over $40,000 for other questionable hits and met with NFL officials during the bye week in order to try to understand what is legal and what is not.

Given that past, it seemed likely that Suh would be fined, suspended or both for his actions Thursday. An NFL spokesman told the Free Press that “it’s a safe assumption” the league would review the play next week.

Suh’s Facebook post came shortly after the Lions issued a statement about the incident:

“The on-field conduct exhibited by Ndamukong Suh that led to his ejection from yesterday’s game was unacceptable and failed to meet the level of sportsmanship we expect from our players,” the statement read.

“Ndamukong has made many positive contributions to the Lions on and off the field. We expect his behavior going forward to consistently reflect that high standard of professionalism.

“We have been in contact with Commissioner Goodell’s office and were advised that, like any on-field matter, Thursday’s incident is subject to review by the league office and that subsequent discipline would be determined by the league office.”

Do Suh’s comments change the punishment you think he should be given? Do his comments change your perception about the way in which he plays?

By  |  10:50 AM ET, 11/26/2011

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