The Vikings put together a great defensive effort Sunday even without their star rookie safety Harrison Smith, who was ejected from the game in the first quarter after pushing an official. The question after the game was, how long would the Vikings have to live without Smith, who was certain to face some discipline from the league in the wake of the incident. Good news. Harrison Smith will be fined for the push, but will not be suspended.
The pushing incident occurred when Smith began mixing it up with some Titans players and was moved out of the way by official Steve Freeman. Smith apparently thought Freeman was a Titans player and pushed him aside without any particular violence. Smith was immediately flagged and ejected. Afterward Smith expressed contrition.
“Just stupid for me putting myself in that situation and putting the ref in that situation. Putting the ref in that situation, I apologize for that,” Smith said.
The incident actually happened right in front of Roger Goodell who was at the game with his Viking-fan daughter. So Judge Roy Bean got a good look at the whole thing and Smith isn’t suspended. That’s the right call. It was a clear push, and some discipline is called for, but it was hardly a violent or malicious act. Smith’s level of apology afterward probably didn’t help his cause with the league much but it did help smooth over any concerns about his being a thug. It was just a mess-up that happened in the heat of the moment. The only one suffering for this will be Smith’s bank account.
Update: Smith’s bank account will be okay too. We have now learned that Smith will not be disciplined in any way for pushing the official. No fine or suspension. Being thrown out of the game was seen as sufficient punishment for the act.
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Tags: Minnesota Vikings