Vontaze Burfict says ruthless hits are part of football but denied comparisons to Myles Garrett who was slapped with an indefinite ban for hitting another player with his helmet.
"I hit people on the field during the game. And they say that's dirty, yeah, whatever. I get hit, too, during the games, so don't complain. It's football, bro," the Oakland Raiders linebacker said in an interview with The Athletic website on Friday.
Burfict was given a season-ending suspension -- the longest penalty given for a series of on-field actions in NFL history -- four games into the regular season for what the NFL called a culmination of illegal hits.
The league's final straw was an illegal hit on a defenseless Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle on September 29.
"It was bull," Burfict said of the discipline following the incident.
"I was making a football play. I could see if it was a fine or something, but not a suspension, let alone for the whole season. It kind of seems like there was a target on my head. I mean, there has always been a target on my head."
Cleveland Browns defensive end Garrett was hit with a lengthy suspension on Friday after a helmet-swinging attack on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph that sent shockwaves rippling across America's most popular sport.
Burfict said what Garrett did in Thursday night's NFL game was much worse.
"That's not what I do. That's not part of football. I hit people on the field during the game," he said.
Burfict then launched into an expletive-filled rant about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, saying he had already made up his mind when the player met him in New York.
"He didn't let anybody speak, he rushed us in and out of the meeting," Burfict said. "The meeting was bull. He already had the suspension in his hand."
Burfict was given a season-ending suspension four games into the regular season