Eyebrows were raised last week when the NFL fined Steelers safety Troy Polamalu $10,000 for using a cell phone on the sidelines after suffering a head injury against the Jaguars. Polamalu explained he called his wife to ease her mind, given his history of concussions. That wasn’t a good enough reason for the league to bend the rules, despite the objections of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about the decision Wednesday during an appearance on “On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren.”
“Well, I think it’s always a problem trying to have a rule that applies to everybody,” Goodell said, via CBSSports.com. “Troy’s a wonderful young man and there was concern about his health and there are ways of us getting word to families when there is an injury, and to make sure they understand that the player is OK. But we also don’t want to have all our players using phones on the sidelines for texting.” As cold as that could be perceived, it’s understandable the league was unwilling to set a precedent with this case.
“When someone’s injured and you’re family, you want to speak to the individual. And you want to hear their voice. You want to make sure they’re OK,” Goodell said. “And that’s something that probably could’ve happened by taking him off the field and allowing him access to be able to call his wife.”