Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Power Tripping.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to get his David Stern on. Chris Henry gets an eight game suspension, and Pac-Man Jones will be off the whole year, both without pay.

Henry's suspension, I get. The guy's been arrested and charged several times for dumb DUI stuff, and has been suspended by the league and benched by his team for it. But most of Jones' suspension is based in response to an incident in Vegas he hasn't even been charged for yet (and I place heavy emphasis on "yet," because it looks like the prosecutors of whatever county in Nevada that Vegas happens to be in are likely to press felony charges against him.)

In a letter to each player, Goodell wrote: "Your conduct has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league. You have put in jeopardy an otherwise promising NFL career, and have risked both your own safety and the safety of others through your off-field actions. In each of these respects, you have engaged in conduct detrimental to the NFL and failed to live up to the standards expected of NFL players. Taken as a whole, this conduct warrants significant sanction."

I know Jones has stuff hanging against him from Georgia too, but this is based on a recent PR nightmare for the league, and it would have been better, not to mention at least resembling the appearance of fair, if Goodell had waited until charges were actually filed in Nevada. There's plenty of time left before the actual season gets underway, but then again, his hands were probably tied -- he had to take action before the draft and free agency were completed, or risk leaving the Bengals and Titans with holes they couldn't attempt to fill.

Hat tip: With Leather.


Gabe said...

I agree that Goodell handled this situation poorly. It's obvious he wasn't going to deal with the NFL's off-the-field problems until the Las Vegas situation happened.

However if this is what it took for the NFL to adopt remotely decent behavior standards for their employees, so be it.

The fact that 5-time-arrestee Pacman Jones or multi-convict-for-wifebeating Michael Pittman are still employed is a joke. It's long past due for the NFL to hold their employees to decent standards. As an NFL fan, thugs these two guys, or drug abusers like Shawn Merriman, or convicts like drunk-driving Kerry Collins embarass me.

The sooner the NFL deals with this, the better.

Regardless of Goodell being an opportunist.

Signal to Noise said...

Gabe - that's pretty much what we're stuck with here. I don't know a better way to deal with this one, and I suspect no one else does either.

The problem is that we can probably start taking bets on the Pac-Man deathpool right now.