It has not been a banner start to the season for the Los Angeles Rams. The NFL is fining defensive tackle Aaron Donald $21,000 for his temper tantrum in the fourth quarter of the Ram’s 28-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football last week.
Donald was ejected from the game because he made contact with an official, but that wasn’t the extent of his outburst. The incident started when the star lineman ripped the helmet off 49ers receiver Quinton Patton while officials were convening to discuss a potential late hit penalty on Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree. Donald slammed his own helmet into the turf after he had been booted. He was fined $9,115 for unnecessary roughness and $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct. In total, the fines amount to roughly a fourth of his Week 1 check.
One day after the incident, Donald took complete responsibility for his actions. "I was just seeing something happening and just tried to run over there and help one of my guys," he said, via NFL Media. "And, like I said, it was just a dumb decision on my part."
This is the first time in his three-year career Donald has been reprimanded by the league office. But if the Rams have more games like Monday night, it may be difficult for him — and his teammates — to keep their frustration bottled in.