Steelers safety Mike Mitchell rips National Football League for officiating on hard hits

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Mitchell - who himself has been fined four times for unsafe hits and taunting - was referring to the Monday Night Football fiasco in which Pittsburgh's JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati's George Iloka were handed one-game suspensions for separate hits on opposing players.

On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers safety took to Twitter to rail on the National Football League for suspending Cincinnati Bengals safety George Iloka for his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown (a suspension that was overturned) during Monday's NFC North matchup that has drawn widespread criticism for what many deemed excessive violence and dirty play.

Mitchell seems to think that it's impossible to play a physical game of football without the kind of hits we saw on Monday night, which just isn't true. In the same game, Mitchell got tripped into quarterback Alex Smith, which some critics said was an intentional play.

Let the debate begin. But, you know, I thought what happened - the play that happened - happened in the context of a football play. Audio also includes Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. Without it, players won't know where the line is between a fine and a suspension. Danny Trevathan, Mike Evans, Aqib Talib, Michael Crabtree and Smith-Schuster have all received one-game bans this season for various head shots. No one wants to be paralyzed.

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So when Umenyiora hears players complaining about football going soft, he can't believe his ears. These are all things that are negative. That is far from the case today. We're playing full speed.

"He's (running) 4.4, 4.3 speed".

Furthermore, why does the fact you made money and changed your family legacy make the National Football League immune to criticism? "We can't have a guy where you just hand out discipline how you see fit". You can not do it. There's no way I see two people get post-play infractions that don't have to do with football and you get the same suspension as the guy who's making a football play in a football game. At the end of the day this is Foot-Ball. "You wanna see flag football, then let's take our pads off".

"I got [expletives] like Matt Hasselbeck calling me a dirty player and trying my character, and we've never met before", he told reporters Wednesday. "And that's insane. I'm gonna mess around and get hurt trying to protect an offensive player because he's running an over route". In one moment, he asks us not to make football out to be an "dangerous, barbaric" sport; the next, he's defending it by comparing it to combat and saying that injuries are just part of real football. This is a man's game. "It's for grown men".

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