Beckham and Humphrey tangled Sunday, which escalated with Humphrey pinning Beckham to the ground. Both players were flagged on the play, though neither was ejected. Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens has said this week that Humphrey should’ve been tossed for what he perceived to be Humphrey choking Beckham.
Beckham said, given the heat of the moment, he couldn’t tell if Humphrey was choking him. But he did say he had to restrain himself from escalating the incident further.
“I’ve come a long way,” said Beckham, who was suspended four years ago for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Josh Norman. “I probably would’ve been suspended for the next game if I would’ve done what I wanted to do — or more, knowing how I get treated. It was just something I had to [do] for my teammates and not hurt them even more than the 15-yard penalty.
“This is football, not MMA, not Street Fighter.”
Earlier this week, the Ravens went to the extent of posting a story and slow-motion video on their website arguing that Humphrey didn’t choke Beckham. Humphrey said after the game that it was Beckham who should have been ejected for the incident.
Beckham declined to reveal the amount he’d been fined, but he did take the opportunity to question the logic the NFL uses in fining players.
“I think it’s crazy. … The NFL finds ways to just take it. They’re going to take it from you,” said Beckham, who has been reprimanded by the league this season for the $190,000 watch he wore during Cleveland’s opener and for the tint of his visor in Week 2. “I understand a penalty, getting fined for that. But pants above the knees, a shirt hanging out — and we’re talking about a T-shirt that cost $5 to make, and you’re getting $5,000 taken from you. Pads above your knees, and I’m like, you really think that this little knee pad covering my kneecap is going to affect, if somebody hits me, weighs 250 pounds, running 18 mph. I don’t do physics, but if I get hit, this is not going to protect me.
“It’s just stuff like that [that] I feel like we can come to a better agreement and simplifying things and not taking the money out of the pockets of the players who are putting money into this entire game. It’s just tough. It sucks to get fined for socks. Or in the middle of the game, have someone come up and it’s like, ‘Oh, your jersey is out.’ I’m like, ‘Bro I’m not worried about my jersey’ in the middle of the game. I’m worried about what assignment do I have. A visor, this. All those little things that could be eliminated … stuff that doesn’t need to be so strict.”
Cleveland center JC Tretter said he was fined $14,000 in the Beckham-Humphrey incident for trying to help break up the fight.
Beckham said he’s going to pay Tretter’s fine.
“That’s a rule that they’re trying to implement, so that people are coming in to pull you off a pile and then more fights start,” Beckham said. “But it’s just like, I’m trying to break it up for my team and get the thing situated and I’ve got however much money coming out of my pocket.”
Beckham said he plans to appeal his fine.
“It’s money out of my future family and kids’ pocket. It’s enough. I don’t care if it’s $5. Still taking money from me,” Beckham said. “I just wish they could not worry about some of that stuff. Worry about the game. Worry about the other things that are going on.”