The Monday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals was brutal.
Two players were carted off the field and two more were suspended for their actions in the Steelers’ 23-20 victory.
Fines are expected to be levied against even more players in the game that was a throwback to the rugged style of play common in the 20th century, but something the NFL has tried to prevent from taking place today.
More rules are in place to penalize excessive or dirty hits, and more safety precautions are currently taken than ever before in NFL history.
But that hasn’t stopped many professional critics and armchair quarterbacks on Twitter from calling out the violent spectacle they saw on Monday. And they’re football fans.
Count Bakari Sellers among them.
The former South Carolina representative is by all accounts a passionate football fan. He was critical of South Carolina coach Will Muschamp after the Gamecocks lost 34-10 to arch rival Clemson.
He was fast to cheer USC last Sunday, when it was announced the Gamecocks would play the Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl.
But even Sellers, who spends his time these days as an attorney in Columbia and as a commentator on CNN was taken aback by the nasty Monday Night Football game that had fans covering their eyes and flipping the channel.
“Can’t lie if I’m blessed enough to one day have a son, this game is exhibit A to why he won’t be playing football,” Sellers wrote on Twitter Monday night.
Sellers had lots of company cringing. It even included the Steelers head coach.
“I’ll acknowledge there were some unfortunate things in that game that we don’t need in our game – by both sides,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday.
The chorus also included Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden.
“It’s bad for football,” Gruden said on ESPN during postgame coverage. “There’s going to be some fines, there’s going be some stringent discipline. Let’s just hope a lot of these men are able to get up tomorrow morning and move on with life. Some of this stuff got out of hand tonight. It’s very disgusting and disturbing.”
Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde tweeted, “This is a bad night for football. Really bad.”
Another person on social media took it a step further.
“The Bengals and Steelers showing everyone why football isn’t going to exist in 15 years.”
Sellers, a Democrat who usually saves his harshest condemnations for President Donald Trump, isn’t stirring as much controversy on this issue. If anything, his point of view was more reserved than many in the fallout of the violent football game.
Sellers doesn’t limit his perspective to just politics. He also has his own podcast, for which he has interviewed everyone from Charles Barkley and Charlamagne tha God to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and Hillary Clinton.
When Sellers was elected as a state representative at age 22 in 2006, he made history as the youngest African-American elected to office. He served in that role until 2014 when he gave up his seat for an unsuccessful run at S.C. lieutenant governor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.