Ndamukong Suh defends reputation

Updated: January 25, 2013, 2:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh says he's drawn a reputation as a dirty player because the public misunderstands him.

"I wish people would get to know me," Suh told the Houston Chronicle this week.

Suh made headlines for his on-field behavior once again this season for kicking Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin during a Thanksgiving Day game. The fiery Suh was hit with a $30,000 fine but avoided a suspension because the NFL couldn't reach a judgment on his intent.

Suh, who said the kick wasn't intentional, reiterated those thoughts Thursday to the Chronicle.

[+] EnlargeNdamukong Suh
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesLions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh says his reputation of being a dirty player is because people haven't taken the time to get to know him.

"People kind of had their minds made up already," Suh told the paper about the reaction to the kick. "I would never want to kick someone in that area."

A week after the Schaub incident, Suh again made news when members of the Indianapolis Colts accused Suh and other Lions of taunting Winston Justice, who was injured while attempting to make a tackle. Justice suffered a concussion on the play.

Questionable antics seem to be the norm for Suh, who was voted the league's dirtiest player in a poll of players by the Sporting News during this past season.

In October, Suh avoided a fine when he slammed Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to the ground in a Monday night game. Suh was suspended two games in 2011 for stepping on the right arm of Green Bay Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith during a nationally televised game on Thanksgiving Day.

Suh also was voted the least liked NFL player in a survey of fans conducted by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research last year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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