The appeal of Sean Payton and his other comrades were denied. Is this a statement to the NFL or is it a statement to the retired NFL players seeking compensation for their post lingering injuries?
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to deny the appeal and uphold the suspensions of Sean Payton, Ricky Loomis, and Joe Vitt. Goodell also added that after the coaches suspensions are served, He will review their status and determine if they will be reinstated. Payton is serving a one year suspension without pay which begins on April 16th, Loomis the General Manager will serve an eight game suspension when the season begins and Joe Vitt the Assistant Coach will serve a 6 game suspension when the regular season begins.
The debate of this topic lies on the fact that whether Goodell motive is punishing the New Orleans Saints because of violent intentions of targeting and injuring players or is it to calm down all of the lawsuits coming from former players. For the last four or five years former NFL players have been complaining about their repercussion of injuries, including post concussion syndromes they are suffering from. It seems like the lawsuits are increasing more and more with every concussion that is magnified by the NFL. Now, I'm not saying it shouldn't be and concussions aren't serious but the league has made concussions more aware than ever. When you think about it, Goodell didn't concentrate on "hitting defenseless players" and "too aggressive hits" until these accusations came from the former players.
I agree with making the game a safer environment but can you really do that? The sole purpose of the defense is to keep the the opponent out of their end zone by tackling and trying to jar the football lose. Because of the recent rule changes and extra personal foul and fines, it has players actually thinking about hitting the opponent right before the act of hitting the opponent. Football was made to be violent and physical and these players have been taught and trained to be violent and physical since pee wee football. Can you imagine telling Ronnie Lott that he can't hit a player if he drops the ball or if the receiver's head was turned around then you can't hit him even if you're trying to make him drop the ball. Is the league getting too soft?
I believe Greg Williams intent of knocking players out wasn't his main goal but can this be a way to inspire his defense to play with passion? Remember most of these football players has families to feed, therefore he has to make a decision in the middle of a football play that can cost him a fine or a game suspension which will deduct a game check. I don't believe Williams actually yelled at his defense for not knocking a certain player out of the game after a loss. Yet still having a bounty on some one is malicious and wrong. Now if it they didn't target a certain player and said whoever knocks out anyone will get a reward; what would have been the results then?
It was reported that Goodell claimed he warn Sean Payton several times during the season to put a stop to it but Payton never stopped it. I understand him getting punished but getting punished for a whole year not only sends a message to the NFL but an even bigger message to the retired players that Goodell is doing everything in his power to make the game less violent.