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Ndamukong Suh appeals NFL suspension: Is he dirty or victimized?

Ndamukong Suh, the Detroit Lions’ hard-hitting defensive lineman was suspended two games for stomping on the arm of Evan Dietrich-Smith. As Cindy Boren reported:

The suspension is without pay and contains no requirement that Suh obtain anger-management counseling after multiple on-the-field incidents and $42,500 in fines in less than two seasons in the league.

Additionally, the Lions are expected to fine Suh $25,000 — the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement for an ejection — according to ESPN. The Lions will also have to pay a $50,000 fine because team members have accumulated over $100,000 this season.

At the recommendation of the NFL Players Association and Commissioner Roger Goodell, Suh will appeal the suspension, which will cost him $164,000, and NFL officials have indicated that an expedited hearing will be held this week. Former coach Art Shell, an appointed appeal officer paid by the NFL and NFLPA, will heal the appeal, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

Suh will not practice with the team or go to the team facility until a decision is made on his appeal. He would miss the Lions games against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and against Minnesota on Dec. 11.

“Everybody’s responsible for their actions and accountable for it,” Lions Coach Jim Schwartz said on WXYT-FM (via the Free Press). “The league has decided to suspend him two games. That’s something that we have to deal with, we have to live with, and we have to find a way to get past it.

“We’ll defend our players for everything they do from snap to whistle, and we want to be known as a tough, physical team that plays as hard as they possibly can. But anything that happens after the whistle ... we need to be accountable for it, we need to move on, and we need to get ready for the Saints.”

Suh’s career in the NFL began with no indication that he was the type of player to stomp on another after the whistle. As AP explained :

Ndamukong Suh seemed like such a level-headed guy when he joined the NFL little more than a season and a half ago. Now, not so much.

A few months before the 2010 NFL draft, when other top picks might have been out pricing a Bentley, Suh pledged to donate $2.6 million to his alma mater, including $600,000 to endow a scholarship at the College of Engineering at Nebraska, from which he graduated with a degree in construction management. By then, he’d also already taken home nearly every important college award a defender can earn, including several which factor in sportsmanship as a component — the Outland, Bednarik, Nagurski and Associated Press Player of the Year awards — and finished fourth in the Heisman balloting to boot.

Suh proved just as dominating as pro as he was in college, being named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and solved any transportation problems soon enough by becoming a pitchman for Chrysler, among others. He was in the express lane for NFL stardom, but not just the kind that results in endorsements. Three times during the 2010 season, Suh starred in film clips that wound up being reviewed by the league’s disciplinarians and had his paychecks docked accordingly. Unrepentant, he threw Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton to the ground in a preseason game, and by the middle of this season, Suh had already been labeled the NFL’s “dirtiest” player in a poll surveying 100 of his peers. Then came the stomp.

Suh’s nationally televised incident and post-game defiant interview have put Suh in the discussion of the dirtiest players in the NFL. As AP reported :

Mean Joe Greene knows what it’s like to be regarded as a nasty player in the NFL.

The Hall of Famer hopes Ndamukong Suh’s name doesn’t get stuck in the mud for the rest of his career.

Suh snapped on Thanksgiving Day and stomped on Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith, adding fuel to the discussion of where the Detroit Lions defensive tackle ranks among the league’s dirtiest players.

San Francisco 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin said Suh is at the top of the list.

“As of right now, you’ve got to look at him that way,” Goodwin said Monday. “You don’t see too many guys stomp on a guy. To me a dirty player is a guy that’s doing stuff after the play.”

Suh’s after-the-whistle stomp is expected to lead to an NFL suspension.

He’s in the spotlight for his actions, but players have crossed the line since the league was born and probably always will do so at football’s highest level.

“If it happens in the game, there’s a place for it,” Greene said Monday night in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “If you haven’t played interior defensive line, you won’t know and you’ll never know what it’s like in there.

“I don’t think anything that happens on the field is dirty, but Suh shouldn’t have done what he did. He let the moment get away.”

More from Washington Post Sports

Suh appeals NFL’s 2-game suspension for stomp

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Suh: Misunderstood or just dirty?

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