Steelers guard David DeCastro is displeased after being fined over $14,000 for his role in the recent brawl between Pittsburgh and the Browns on Thursday Night Football.
DeCastro wasn't included on the initial list of 33 players fined for the incident, but he believes he was punished for being a "peacemaker" between Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.
"I can't wait to hear the explanation for trying to break up a fight," he said on Wednesday, per ESPN's Brooke Pryor. "But I guess it's some dumb rule in the NFL where you can't be a peacemaker."
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac, DeCastro received a $14,037 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct. Dulac reports the NFL told DeCastro "peacemaking or coming to aid of a teammate is not considered an excuse for a rules violation." The guard will reportedly appeal the fine.
In the final seconds of the Browns-Steelers game on Nov. 14, Rudolph and Garrett were involved in a tussle and exchanged words before Garrett ripped Rudolph's helmet off and struck him in the head. DeCastro got involved by pulling the two players apart and tackling Garrett to keep him on the ground.
Most players on the list were fined $3,507 for entering the fighting area, including Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster.
"They sent me the letter and it basically says, 'You cannot contest it,'" he said. "Which is pretty insane to me. I was on the field around [the fight]. I didn't even do anything. Really didn't do anything.
"The letter basically says you can't walk toward a fight. Being a peacemaker is no excuse. Across the board it basically covered it. I'll probably still appeal it, but that $3,507 is gone. It's going to be a short Christmas."
The day after the melee the NFL handed Garrett an indefinite suspension for his actions, which the league upheld last week. He was also given a $45,623 fine.
While Rudolph was not suspended, he received the largest fine of $50,000. Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey, who was fined $35,096, was initially suspended three games but had it reduced to two. Cleveland defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi received a one-game ban and had his $10,527 fine revoked upon appeal. Both the Steelers and Browns organizations were fined $250,000 each.
The Steelers and Browns will face each other in a rematch on Dec. 1 in Pittsburgh.
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