Last season, Ndamukong Suh became the most vilified man in football—the poster boy for gratuitous violence and dirty play.
Suh knows what most people think of him: that he’s an angry and violent player, hell-bent on destruction. But behind the human wrecking ball lies a quiet, thoughtful 25-year-old who still lives in his dad’s house.
Is Suh trying to be the ruthless monster of a man that he has been painted to be?
Is he trying to create a league that fears his play and the injuries he can cause, giving strength to the argument about football being overly dangerous? The notoriously quiet Suh explains himself to GQ’s Jeanne Marie Laskas and reveals that he may just be a player stuck in full throttle.
Excerpts below from GQ's article titled "He Didn't Mean to Hurt You"
Ndamukong Suh on his being closed-off:
"A lot of people don’t know truly who I am. And at this point in time, there are not a lot of people I let close enough to find out. I don’t want anybody in my circle that’s a cancer to what I’m trying to create."
On football and injuries:
"Football is a violent game. Somebody’s going to get hurt. It’s the game. I really don’t get the controversy. It’s the game."
---The Suh family: Sister Ngum, father Michael, and shy, quiet Ndamukong, whose name means "house of spears."
On being called a dirty player:
"A dirty player is somebody who ultimately is trying to hurt somebody. There’s a huge difference. There's no gray in that. Like, you have no conscience, no nothing, no guilt. I don’t have that mean streak in me. I don’t play angry. It’s not anger."
On playing hard:
"It’s like, I open the throttle too much? I get in trouble for opening my throttle…just like being on a jet. Like, you know, when they’re starting a plane, you just gradually, gradually throw it into full throttle. I’m always in full throttle. But they tell me now that I need to be at three-quarters of a throttle."
--Courtesy Carlos Serrao / GQ
On quarterbacks he loves to target:
"I love hitting Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler. Ben Roethlisberger, I would like to go against him, because they say he’s one of the hardest to take down. I see that as a challenge, so I would love to take him down multiple times. Peyton Manning, oh, I would love that. I think Michael Vick, I did sack him, one of the most elusive quarterbacks to ever play the game. I took him down with one arm."