One of the big bits of news to come from the 49ers 23-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals was Dashon Goldson's ejection after he threw two punches at Cardinals wide receiver Early Doucet. When I saw the incident happen in real time, I was stunned that he would be throwing punches in the midst of a blowout victory.
However, as the video after the jump shows, Doucet instigated the incident when he popped Goldson in the back of the head while Dashon was sitting on the ground. Dashon got up, shoved Doucet and then threw two punches. Teammates pulled them apart as they flailed away at the air.
This is not to say it was a smart move by Dashon Goldson. It's important to keep your cool because these things do happen when one team is up big on another team. Frustrations boil over and cheap shots start happening. At the same time, I really don't have a huge problem with Dashon swinging back. It's easy to say a player should contain himself, but when the adrenaline is flowing, it's not so simple.
After the game, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke about the incident, and seemed to infer that he didn't think it was the end of the world that Dashon swung at Doucet:
I saw Dashon get hit, get punched in the back of the head while he was sitting down and he got up and retaliated. We talked about it in the locker room after the game. We all saw what happened to Dashon. He's remorseful about it. Talked to the team about it and understands that you can't retaliate.
I might be reading too much into it, but from my perspective, Coach Harbaugh is sort of saying, Dashon shouldn't have done it, but Doucet deserved it. The good news is that there is some precedent for NOT suspending a player in this kind of situation. Andre Johnson went after Cortland Finnegan following some instigation and while both were fined, neither was suspended. Let's hope the league sticks with past precedent.
Head after the jump to view video of the incident.