Ryan Wooley: Does “Bounty Gate” Deserve A Lifetime Ban?
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After the decision by Commissioner Roger Goodell to give the harshest punishment there has ever been in the NFL, I say it was a great start, but it’s not enough.
When you actually look at what Goodell handed down to the Saints organization, it may seem like a lot to the average fan, but if you truly care about the well being of professional athletes, then I think you would admit more needs to be done.
Let’s take a look at what was handed down:
-Head Coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for a full year, costing him $7.5 Million Dollars.
-GM Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games.
-Former Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams was suspended indefinitely.
-And the team was fined $500,000 and docked two draft picks. (A second rounder this year and another in 2013)
Never in the history of the NFL has a coach been suspended for a year, let alone lose his full salary, and even though it may seem extreme to some that he will miss all of next season, I think Payton deserves to lose his job completely–as well as the ability to work in the NFL in any fashion.
To work or play in the NFL is privilege, not a right, and it’s a position that should never be taken lightly. As a coach or GM, you have one of the most prestigious jobs in the entire world, as there are just 32 at each position.
What Payton did by covering up this bounty system, and according to the league, ignore instructions to make sure the bounties weren’t being paid, completely undermines the integrity of the sport. Not to mention, Payton originally denied the bounty program even existed and instructed his assistants to do the same.
By not allowing Payton, Loomis and Williams to ever be associated with the NFL again sends the strongest message you can to current players, coaches and future draft picks. You play within the structure of the game on and off the field, as player safety is now the number one priority.
Now don’t get me wrong, the players that participated in this are just as guilty, and yes, deserve the same punishment. If you’re found to have taken part in the bounties, I hope you enjoyed your career in the NFL and best of luck in the CFL or AFL!
It truly makes me sick to my stomach to even think that a player would head-hunt for a few extra bucks! These athletes make Millions of dollars, yet the NFL said that the program only rewarded players $1,500 for knocking someone out of the game, and $1,000 for a player to be carted off. Those prices would triple in the Playoffs, but that is chump change compared to their annual contracts!
For those that think I’m nuts and lifetime suspension is too long, have you ever thought about what if one of these athletes actually paralyzed someone because of this? Or worse yet, killed someone? Go back and look at the hit on Kurt Warner from defensive end Bobby McCray. Warner admitted that the hit was legal and wasn’t the reason he retired, but he sure got his bell rung and according to the NFL, was one of the quarterback’s targeted during this bounty system—along with Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, and Cam Newton.
Remember the hit Favre took in the NFC Championship game that knocked him out? Kind of makes you look at the hits differently doesn’t it?
I understand that some people will always argue that this has gone on for years and it’s just part of the game. I agree, it probably has gone on without the general public knowing about it. But it doesn’t have to, and it shouldn’t have.
Football is a game. A game that pays a lot of money and one that has players risking their life every time they step on the field–even when it’s played the right way. So why should players have to be worried that someone is out to intentionally hurt them?
There is a difference between playing hard and playing to hurt someone. And the last time I checked, they put people in jail for intentionally injuring someone else. So for everyone involved, they should feel lucky that a lifetime ban is all they would get.