Vontaze Burfict is notorious in the NFL for his overly aggressive style of play. But apparently, it’s not a trait he developed over time.
The NFL on Monday dealt the 29-year-old Raiders linebacker a season-long suspension for delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit to Colts tight end Jack Doyle during Los Angeles’ Week 4 matchup in Indianapolis. According to his family, however, plays like this are nothing new for him.
“He’s been playing that way since he was a little kid,” Burfict’s older brother, Dashan Miller, told USA TODAY Sports. “It was kind of funny because kids back then when we were younger would go home crying to their mom because they felt like he hit them too hard or he was just being a little too aggressive.”
Burfict’s mother, Lisa Lane, doesn’t think he “intentionally” tries to hurt people. But she does remember other parents begging for him to play a little nicer.
“It wasn’t even like a knock on the door sometimes. It was me coming in with my fiancé at the time, my daughters, and I’d come in with the stroller and people would come up to me like, ‘Are you Vontaze’s mom?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes.’ And then, ‘Can you please tell your son not to knock my son out tonight?'”
In fact, she believes her son learned the sport “when they were playing football. Now they play foosball.”
Uncle Darryl Jones said getting paid isn’t what Burfict is worried about when he gets on the field.
“He’s never worried about losing money,” Jones told USA TODAY Sports. “He’s not worried about (penalty) flags. He just goes out there to play.”
Burfict is appealing his current suspension.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images