As he awaits the league’s decision on his punishment, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to apologize for stomping on the arm of a Green Bay Packers offensive lineman, ESPN reported Monday.
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Suh was ejected during the third quarter of his team’s 27-15 Thanksgiving loss to the Packers after scuffling with guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, then stomping on Dietrich-Smith’s right arm as he got up to walk away.
Suh, who has already been fined three times in his short career for a total of $42,500 for illegal hits on quarterbacks, is expected to be suspended for at least one game by Goodell in addition to receiving a hefty fine.
Suh initially denied that the contact was intentional and argued that it occurred after he lost his balance, but changed course Friday.
"In the past few hours, I have had time to reflect on yesterday’s game and I want to sincerely apologize for letting my teammates down, the organization, and especially to my fans who look to me for positive inspiration," Suh wrote on Facebook.
"Playing professional sports … is a profession with great responsibility, and where performance on and off the field should never be compromised.
"I want to reiterate my commitment to working to become a better player, and professional — on and off the field. My reaction on Thursday was unacceptable."
His team said on its website that Suh’s behavior "was unacceptable and failed to meet the level of sportsmanship we expect from our players."
The incident came just weeks after the 24-year-old Suh met face-to-face with Goodell in an effort to gain a better understanding of the league’s policy on illegal hits.