A three-member panel has overturned the suspensions handed down to four players by the NFL in the bounty case, and all four suspended players – New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove – are free to play this NFL season. The suspensions would be re-addressed only if concrete evidence is produced.
This was of course a huge victory for the players involved – and to an extent the NFL Players Association. Conversely, this was a HUGE blow to the league and Commissioner/Warden/Playa Hater Roger Goodell.
Those who follow this blog know how much I dislike Goodell. I think dude fashions himself as a dictator, making himself judge and jury on matters concerning appeals of suspensions and fines. I think he is trying to take the football out of football in ridiculous rules under the guise of player safety – cannot hit a “defenseless” player (aren’t all players without the ball defenseless?), pansy rules on hitting the QB.
Note: I do agree with the helmet-to-helmet hits. No need for that. Tackle with the shoulders and arms fellas…
This ruling by the arbiters should cause Goodell to step back and reassess things. He should ask himself should he have suspended those players without much proof. He should also ask if him acting a dictator is good for the health of the NFL.
I’ll tell you what, those wealthy-ass owners do not like the league’s image being tarnished. People are going to sour on the commissioner’s tactics sooner rather than later.
Goodell should tread carefully going forward.