Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players involed the league’s bounty investigation. This negated the previous suspensions handed down by current commissioner/warden/playa hater Roger Goodell.
Score one for the players, fans, and believers in common sense.
I am glad the suspensions were overturned for a couple of reasons. For one, this shows just how heavy-handed Goodell has been during his time as commissioner. Dude has been able to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted with no checks and balances. For instance, if a player wanted to appeal a suspension, Goodell oversaw the appeal hearings HIMSELF.
And let’s not talk about those stupid-ass rules regarding “player safety”. Goodell one minute talks about the importance of “player safety”, and the next minute floating the idea of an 18-game regular season. Hey Roger, it’s pretty hypocritical to protect QBs and “defenseless players” (whatever the hell that means) while doing next to nothing to protect the other players. It’s open season on defenders knees on cut and chop blocks, but those defenders better not touch Tom Brady on the head.
But I digress…
The other reason I applaud this move is because Tagliabue realized what the rest of us figured: there was little to no evidence of any wrong-doing. Goodell suspended those players with little to no evidence of any participation of player involvement of bounties. Tagliabue also rightfully placed the blame on the coaching staff for not adhering to the three-year bounty investigation by the NFL.
To anyone not familiar to the NFL culture (and sports culture in general), a player HAS to do what a coach tells him. That is why Saints head coach Sean Payton and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams are still suspended. I’m not saying what those players allegedly did was not wrong. I just believe in fairness, and none of the previously suspended players received any of that during the bounty investigation.
Kudos to Tagliabue for showing such fairness with this ruling. Maybe Goodell and his over-sized ego would take note and try to do the right thing going forward.