Vontaze Burfict Not Fined For Contact With Officials, Whom He Says Try To Bait Him

So as it turns out, not only was Cincinnati Bengals middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict not suspended following his ejection for contact with an official in the team’s Sunday loss to the Titans, ESPN reported that he did not even receive a fine for it. The league evidently decided that the ejection was punishment enough.

According to an article from Pro Football Talk, $30,387 is the minimum fine for “contact with an official”, which he clearly had. After something of a dogpile out of bounds near the goal line, a side judge stood in front of Burfict, seemingly to hold him back from entering a confrontation. At some point, the linebacker shoved the official’s arm out of the way. He was immediately flagged and ejected for that.

Earlier this year, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was both ejected and subsequently suspended for contact with an official, which was admittedly more egregious than what Burfict did, essentially pushing the official, though he may not have been entirely aware the was shoving an official at the time during a heated moment.

Even his head coach, Marvin Lewis, has said after this most recent incident that Burfict has to be smarter. He even denied prior claims from his players that officials have attempted to provoke him; or at least he said he would be “shocked” if that were true.

But the linebacker himself also contended that officials are targeting him, and even attempting to goad him.

The refs, they come up to me, talking to me disrespectfully, wanting me to curse back at them, but me cursing back at them isn’t going to help me”, he told reporters on Friday. “I’m not going to get a flag in my favor next time around, but that’s the way they handle business, I guess. I told Coach I’m just going to try to stay out of the refs’ way”.

Regarding his interaction with the official, Burfict acknowledged that he understands he can’t touch an official, but said, “I didn’t think I touched him maliciously at all. I pretty much said, ‘excuse me’”.

He also said that he believes that if players are not allowed to touch officials, that officials should also be barred from touching players. He cited the fact that football is a game of physicality, and that in the heat of the moment, if somebody is touching you, it could trigger a confrontation.

To be fair, if Burfict’s account is true that officials are actually actively making comments toward him, which essentially amounts to harassment, then that is unreasonable and unfair behavior on their part. Considering that they are wired for audio during the game, however, one might think that we could have some knowledge of fact on this matter.

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Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • will

    This “no fine” is BS!

  • Nolrog

    Yeah, the officials tried to bait him. Never his fault, always someone else to blame.

  • Orlysteel

    ?!$& Burfict.

  • Jones

    It’s funny that the Cincy fans in the pic look so mad at him. Most of them are pieces of crap just like Burfict (throwing trash at injured Ben a while back), they’re just not talented or strong enough to get paid for it, so they’re pieces of crap for free. Cell phone guy in the pic cracks me up, though. He’s got that “oh, Vontaze… We all knew another screw up was coming” look.

  • LHW

    They just set the standard. Wait, what standard? A guy who is a proven league thug can contact an official with no consequences. Anyone else can’t? I wonder if the rules state that the contact must be “rough” or something like that? Of course not.So why have the rule at all? Let’s just have our weekly interpretation of the rules. They just gave him cause to do it again – no punishment and he could quite possibly do it again. If it happens, and he is punished as a result, his head will explode. There will be violence, the league just said that it was okay to contact an official. His animal brain won’t understand that at all. “Baiting him.” Marv Lewis already has his “I told you so” speech ready for Burfict. With this guy on the team that team is doomed to live in the basement of the AFC. The entire Bengals team is probably terrified of him.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    The flags burfict had were a bit ticky tacky. But he didn’t say excuse me. He shoved the refs arm away and kept going that direction. He definitely made contact. God what a douche.

  • Jim McCarley

    Is it true that Burfict got stopped by a policeman for driving irratically and when the policeman asked for his driver’s license and proof of insurance Burfict was quoted as saying..”Oh, now you MFer’s are just baiting me”….?????…..This guy is a jerk and someone that purposely tries to get away with bad behavior every time he walks on to a field,…..even with his own team mates….but I guess controversy is good for the league, so they allow it to continue…..The really sad thing is that he actually could have ended Antonio Brown’s career last year with that late hit across the middle and if that had of happened, the league would have suffered immensely for it…..Want to talk about concussion issues, well allowing a head hunter like this guy to continue to roam the playing field is asking for trouble….if he does do something that ends the career of a player or even worse , then the NFL will be in court for years over it…..You would think they would be smarter than that…

  • stan

    He’s lied about getting fined before. It’s private so he can get away with it.

  • Ichabod

    In lieu of fining Butfict, the league has imposed another piss test on Harrison

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Danica Patrick giving him the middle finger there 🙀.

  • NinjaMountie

    Burfict is such a despicable human being. He is the personification of what is wrong in this “victim” culture we have created.
    I’m soooo sure the Refs are out to get him. I’m sure they joined up with aliens, Elvis, and Santa Claus to bring him down.
    What a complete POS he is.

  • Steelerbob

    What’s amazing to me is that it seems everyone (i mean league) seems to go out of their way to defend him no matter the circumstances. It’s odd. even when he has been suspended it seems like he gets off easy. i just dont get it.