When Seattle Seahawks wide receiver laid a massive blindside block on Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, NFL fans were split down the middle as to whether or not Tate should be fined for the block. In the replay, Tate set his feet before lowering his helmet and launching into Lee’s head and sending the defender flying.
It looked fairly clear that the block warranted a penalty and that Tate could be expecting a check in the mail from the NFL. Today, Tate received notification that he has been fined $21,000 by the league office.
Tate had said after the game that he didn’t believe there was anything wrong with the hit.
“I knew that I didn’t hit him in his helmet,” Tate said. “I hit him somewhere down here [at chest level]. But the rules change so much that you never really know.”
If you ask Sean Lee, he doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with the block either. He just believes it is part of the game.
“Crackback hits, that’s not a definition of toughness,” Lee said. “A definition of toughness is hitting, squaring up, being able to do your job as hard as you can every single play. That’s at least what I believe. Anybody can crackback block.”
In the end, the NFL rule book decided that there was something wrong with the hit and it is hard to question that. The hit may get fans excited but it doesn’t pass the eye test when it comes to the league’s stance on player safety. From here on out, there shouldn’t be a gray area when it comes to hits like the one Tate nailed Lee with in week two.
For those who missed it during week two action, here is a GIF of the block: