There has been talk of a potential suspension for San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, following an incident during the game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Goldson threw several punches at Arizona wide receiver Early Doucet (VIDEO), and was immediately ejected from the game after being assessed a penalty, giving the struggling Cardinals a first down. What the referees did not see was the fact that Doucet clearly punched Goldson first and should have been the one ejected.
However, that does not excuse Goldson's actions by any means whatsoever. In the NFL, retaliating is the same thing as starting a fight, and Jim Harbaugh noted as much in the postgame press conference. He did say that Goldson was remorseful and that he talked to the team about the incident postgame, though. Harbaugh also expressed his opinion that Doucet did, in fact, start the fight and that it should come into account when the league considers whether or not Goldson's actions should warrant any kind of a suspension.
It would be very surprising if he was suspended, though. There's been other fights lately - the Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan fight comes to mind - and those didn't result in a suspension. The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears got into it a week ago, and there weren't even fighting fines issued for that scuffle that saw both sidelines spill onto the field. Fines were given, but all of them for unnecessary roughness and late hits, things of that nature.
But Goldson is almost certainly looking at a fine. The league minimum for "fighting" is $25,000, and it'd be a shame if Doucet wasn't also fined $25,000. Because of the way the NFL structures their fines, they can fine a player multiple times for the same incident under different terms, so Goldson could also draw a $5000 fine for unnecessary roughness (the level he'd be expected to get with his fine history - of which there really isn't any).
The dollar amounts and whether or not Doucet gets fined are still to be determined, but do expect Goldson to be assessed a fine.