A $7.5M mistake

Most everyone has heard the news that New Orleans Coach Sean Payton has been suspended without pay for the 2012-2013 NFL football season.  The suspension was handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell along with a $500,000 fine to the Saints and taking away the Saints second round draft pics for this year and next year.  Former Defensive coordinator Greg Williams is banned from the league until further notice.

Are these penalties enough or are they to lenient?  A couple of things come to mind.  Football is an inherently dangerous and physical sport.  However, the fact that it is dangerous and physical does not give a player or coach the right to intentionally attempt to injure another player.

In the practice of law, it is a common theme for plaintiffs to argue that corporations place profits over people. It appears from the information available that the Saints did exactly that.  The Saints valued winning at any cost….even if that cost was a seriously injured opponent. 

Saints fans will say that the punishment is excessive and “football is a tough sport.”  Others will say the league didn’t go far enough and should sanction the individual players involved.  How would everyone feel if this bounty program resulted in a player being killed from a broken neck?  Or what about a player being paralyzed from a cheap shot?

There are rules that prohibit bounty programs in the NFL and they are there for the safety of the players.  When you take the sportsmanship out of sports, you have nothing.  I hate it for Payton and the Saints, but as best I can tell they got what they deserved.  Payton has a year to ponder if breaking the rules and attempting to injure players was worth the $7.5 million in salary he will not be receiving.

—edit Someone sent this youtube video to me after my original post.

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About randywallace
I am a husband, father, attorney, outdoorsman and cook.

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