Martellus Bennett suspension doesn’t make sense
BY Rick Morrissey Sports columnist August 5, 2014 11:10AM
Updated: August 5, 2014 7:08PM
This can’t be the whole story. An NFL team fining and suspending a player indefinitely for getting into a fight with a teammate during training camp?
That’s what the Bears did with tight end Martellus Bennett on Tuesday, a day after he threw first-round pick Kyle Fuller to the ground.
Fights are as a part of NFL training camps as Gatorade is. Some coaches like them and some don’t, but unless someone gets hurt, everybody just moves on. Business as usual.
That’s what doesn’t make sense about the Bennett suspension. Was it his comments after Monday’s skirmish with Fuller, when he told reporters he wasn’t there to make friends? If that’s it, maybe the Bears are taking this whole “family’’ fiction a little too far. Just because you work closely with someone doesn’t mean he’s your brother or sister. (I talk to Telander all the time, but that doesn’t mean I consider him family. A crazy uncle, maybe.)
That’s just football coaches trying to build team unity, and most everybody can see through it.
But even Bennett’s comments didn’t strike me as particularly caustic. He was still obviously irritated by being pulled to the ground by Fuller in an 11-on-11 drill. Hard to blame him. His takedown of Fuller wasn’t a good thing, but you can understand why it happened.
That’s why there has to be more to this — unless anger has been added to the NFL’s banned list.