After the most depressing week in football history, I’ve got the perfect solutions for the NFL, the owners, the Commissioner, and the NFLPA.
1. Remove Roger Goodell immediately from player discipline issues. Don’t have to fire him as Commissioner, just remove him from handling player discipline.
2. Hire a new position: Player Misconduct Commissioner. Job description is easy – this individual handles all off-the-field player misconduct cases.
3. Establish small (3 person) Player Misconduct Council. Call it a Tribunal if you want to have a teen dystopia kind of feel. Put a former player, a union rep, and an owner rep on the council. The Player Misconduct Commissioner brings cases and recommended penalties to this group. Group either affirms, alters, or denies recommendation. Straight majority rules.
4. Establish 3rd-party appeal board. MLB has this. NBA has this. Shouldn’t be that difficult. Don’t reinvent the wheel. In fact, let the same appeal board that handles MLB do the NFL.
5. Quit using the excuse “We are going to let the legal process play out.” Technically, legal process has nothing to do with a companies policies and procedures. Plus, we know what this is code for. It means “this offense is not quite heinous enough to cost us sponsorships or money and/or he is one of our best players so we are going to do everything we can to keep him on the field.”
That’s right – we are looking at you Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, and San Francisco 49ers. We didn’t hear that phrase with Aaron Hernandez or Michael Vick or Ben Roethlisburger. You don’t need to see the legal process to play out with Adrian Peterson, Ray MacDonald, Greg Hardy, and Ray Rice. There’s enough to suspend them. Hardy has already been convicted and he appeal so – the legal process HAS played out.
Bigger than that – it’s not about LEGAL, it’s about LEADERSHIP. If you make millions of dollars representing a city and organization, is it really too much to ask from you – “don’t do anything that will get you arrested?” Apparently it is. Make it simple – you get arrested, you are missing at least a game – maybe more.
NOTE: We don’t want to hear that it will be expensive to hire these positions. You made $10 Billion dollars last year. You want to save a few coins? Hire a few of us fans for 6 figures. We’ll do it for pennies on the billions of dollars you are making.
Special Instructions To the NFLPA and Players:
1. Quit defending each other/yourself via Twitter.. Obviously you have freedom of speech to do this. Understand this as free, helpful advice. Let’s face it. When you tweet defenses for your buddies, you just prove the point that you’ve lost any real perspective on life and it confirms our suspicions about your intelligence level.
I’m looking at you both Baltimore Ravens and Adrian Peterson. “We won this for Ray.” Seriously? You won this game for a guy who knocked out his fiancé in an elevator? Just shut up. Really. You get arrested for beating kid with a switch – causing bruising and bleeding, and you have at least 7 kids from who know how many mothers and you quote a Bible verse to us???
Seriously??? Is there any chance we can have the opportunity to use the switch on you?
Just stop it.
2. Nothing Good Happens After Midnight. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you are out clubbing and drinking till 4 AM, bad things are going to happen. Go home. With a driver. Again, you don’t HAVE to do this.
3. Think twice before saying the words “taking food off my table”. You missing a couple of game checks is not taking food off your table. It may be taking gas out of your Ferrari or eliminating that 145th pair of shoes or even that 9th car. But it’s not food off the table. It’s insulting to the rest of the world when you say this.
4. Act like a decent human being. We’re not expecting Rhodes Scholars, Boy Scouts, pastors, or even “Momma’s Boys.” Just common decency that we expect from a 4-year-old when they are out in public. We expect them to not wet on themselves or anything else. We expect them to not hit ANYBODY. We expect them to be in control of their emotions and act human.
We’re not expecting much.
The bar is humiliatingly low.
It’s ridiculous that you need a Conduct Policy that middle schoolers don’t need because they have the common sense to act responsibly and intelligently.
Maybe one day we will see an owner or a business partner – like FedEx, Levi’s, Sports Authority – step up and say ENOUGH. We are done. There’s something more important than money.