NFL Personal Conduct Policy & Goodell’s Inconsistency
"It is important that the NFL be represented consistently by outstanding people as well as great football players, coaches, and staff. We hold ourselves to higher standards of responsible conduct because of what it means to be part of the National Football League. We have long had policies and programs designed to encourage responsible behavior, and this policy is a further step in ensuring that everyone who is part of the NFL meets that standard. We will continue to review the policy and modify it as warranted."
~Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League
“Protect the shield” has been Roger Goodell’s rallying cry of sorts when referring to disciplinary actions he’s taken. This Personal Conduct Policy that was rolled out by Goodell to combat what he felt were issues hindering the integrity of the game (translation: “we can’t make as much money with knuckleheads messing up deals with sponsors and networks”, I’m fluent in bullshit).Here and here are two versions of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy for you to reference. Here and here are lists of players, coaches and the like suspended by the NFL under either the personal conduct policy or drug policy for you to view as well.
With the recent Ray Rice domestic violence case, people have come out in DROVES condemning Goodell for going “too easy” on Rice by suspending him for two games, and fining him an additional game check. The video of him dragging his then-fiance out of the elevator made the rounds online. Once the public saw it, minds were made up, and lines were drawn in the sand. Outrage rang loudest, with pockets of apologists of variant sorts sprinkled throughout.
People would say “how can he suspend guys 4 games for drug X, and only give Rice 2 for hitting his wife?” First off, innocent until proven guilty is the foundation this country’s judicial system was built on, so let’s not jump to conclusions (although it appears to have been what most people think). Secondly, drug offenders have to violate 3-4 times before getting said suspension. Still, Goodell could have, and should have, done better.
In explaining his decision, Goodell said this was Rice’s “first offense” and that he’s been a “model citizen before and especially since this incident.” First offenders Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita, Will Smith, Sean Payton (head coach), Mickey Loomis (GM), in the Bounty Scandal got season-long to 3-game suspensions (Full Disclosure: I am a Saints fan). Albert Haynesworth got 5 games for going American History X curb stomp on Andre Gurode with cleats live on TV for his first violation. Terelle Pryor was still enrolled at Ohio State when he got in trouble over the tats for memorabilia scandal, yet it cost him 5 games.
None of these events seem as egregious as allegedly knocking your woman out and dragging her off an elevator in public. Bounties or some form of them have, and probably always will be, part of the game, whether the league wants to accept it or not. The Haynesworth-Gurode incident was replayed on TV multiple times. As ugly as it was, one could argue it was a dumb decision in the heat of battle by a dumbass terd (Haynesworth has proven to be at least that). And Poor Terrelle Pryor, kid was a student-athlete (translation: free laborer to make money off of in exchange for an education which in some cases pales in comparison to what we make off them. See why I’m fluent in bullshit?) at Ohio State when he got busted, along with several others, and still got suspended. If that’s not an excessive first time suspension, what the hell is?!?
Bottom line, Goodell is full of more shit than a broken public toilet in an NYC subway. Don’t lie to us and say this was “consistent with all other punishments under the Conduct Policy”, because it’s not. The alleged crime itself is far worse than exchanging tattoos for memorabilia, face stomping a helmet-less player, or trying to hurt another player for money, in my opinion. Don’t pacify us with your bullshit Commissioner. Tupac said it best “You aint got to lie to kick it!”