LBS- Le’Veon Bell was lost for the season last year in Week 8 when he suffered a torn MCL against the Cincinnati Bengals. If you remember, several Pittsburgh Steelers players took exception to the way Vontaze Burfict reacted when Bell went down. While Bell clearly feels there was some intent from Burfict, he says the Bengals linebacker is not the only one who plays that way.
“I don’t think it was just (Burfict); it was like the whole team was really out there trying to like twist my ankles and do little dirty stuff in between the piles,” the running back said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I feel like there’s a lot of teams that do that, try to take me out of the game.”
When asked which teams aside from the Bengals do “dirty stuff,” as he said, Bell chose not to point any direct fingers.
“Umm, a couple, but obviously a lot of teams in our division really play that same way, so obviously I know that,” he said. “I just was kind of ignorant to that at first because I didn’t think people played like that.”
I am sorry. I have to plead ignorance here too. Teams were intentionally trying to hurt Le'Veon Bell? That's where I draw the line in the sand when it comes to football. I thought they were just out there attempting to put the crown of a reinforced helmet through his sternum, and launching themselves at his ankles at full speed when he wasn't looking in an attempt to stop him from getting into the end-zone. I didn't realize they were actually trying to sideline him by inflicting as much pain as humanly possible. This changes my whole view of the sport. I'm fine with bone rattling hits on defenseless players and de-cleating blindside blocks, but I refuse to accept hurting someone on purpose.
Next thing you're going to tell me is that the everyone doesn't keep their hands to themselves when they are battling for a loose fumble or that players sometimes engage in disparaging, dehumanizing banter between whistles. I always knew football players were forced to be violent to succeed, but I didn't realize that sometimes they are downright not nice to each other. It's that the case then they should be throwing flags every single play, because the type of thing that Le'Veon Bell is talking about doesn't sound very sportsmanlike to me. Especially when I have never seen the alleged victim do anything that might put the health of a bigger, stronger oncoming defender at risk.