The NFL has decided to impose a fine on Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Calais Campbell for his controversial hit on Cam Newton, the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. The penalty was handed down to Campbell after Newton had a talk with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell regarding his personal safety on the field.
The incident between Campbell and Newton occurred during the Week 8 game between the Cardinals and Panthers. As Newton was preparing to make a pass, Campbell dove below his knee and tackled him. Although a flag was not thrown by referees, many sports analysts noted that the hit should have been considered a foul due to its forceful nature.
Days after the game, the league decided to penalize Campbell with a fine of $18, 231. Sources noted that the defensive tackle is still appealing the sanction.
Following the hit, Newton made a lengthy rant in front of reporters regarding the referees' failure to reprimand payers due to forceful hits. This prompted the quarterback to hold a discussion with Goodell regarding player safety on the field.
According to the athlete, their meeting went well.
"I got my point across," he said, "He got his point across. We ended on good terms, started on good terms, as well."
"The nice part was the commissioner was a willing listener," Panthers coach Ron Rivera added. "It was great and the nice thing is that [Newton] was able to say what needed to be said. At the end of the day, it's not about getting special treatment, it's about being treated the same across the board."
However, coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams, a team that the Panthers will be facing on Nov. 6, disagreed with Newton's criticism of the NFL referees.
"There are hits - illegal hits - that are missed in every game," he said, "Across the league, it happens all the time. The league's priority, from a safety standpoint, starts at the quarterback position...there's going to be things that just aren't called."
"At the same time, there are hits on quarterbacks that are legal that are called fouls," he added. "The league's doing the best they can to protect them."