Earth to Saints Players: Enough!
By Alan Schechter
June 5, 2012; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) during a minicamp session at the team
For weeks now, we have heard about this Bounty scandal. The players have been shouting to the world how they are innocent. The NFLPA is screaming about the process, Vilma is bringing lawsuits against the league. Hargrove is screaming about that “the league got their evidence wrong”. We have heard it all.
Now, commissioner Goodell has spoken, and he has upheld all of the discipline. This obviously was no surprise, as he was the one that handed down the discipline. All of the screaming, all of the proclamations have gone for nothing.
Here’s what I have to say. Earth to Saints players, enough! Time to man up and take your punishments like men.
First, let’s talk about some of what was said by Goodell, as the decision was handed down. The players all claimed that they were wrongly accused, right? Did they prove it? Look at what Goodell had to say, from the official press release from the league:
Although you claimed to have been ‘wrongfully accused with insufficient evidence,’ your lawyers elected not to ask a single question of the principal investigators, both of whom were present at the hearing(as your lawyers had requested); you elected not to testify or to make any substantive statement, written or oral, in support of your appeal; you elected not to call a single witness to support your appeal; and you elected not to introduce a single exhibit addressing the merits of your appeal. Instead, your lawyers raised a series of jurisdictional and procedural objections that generally ignore the CBA, in particular its provisions governing ‘conduct detrimental’ determinations…”
Take a look at the whole release by clicking here
Why is that significant?
Because, if you believe Goodell, the players aren’t justifying their statements that they are innocent. They have been given ample opportunity to present evidence to back up their claims. Apparently, they have not.
Instead, they attack the process. They make “due process” claims. They say that the commissioner isn’t allowed to make these unilateral decisions regarding discipline. Further than that, Jonathan Vilma sues the league. Twice! Did he really think that his suspension was going to change? He sued the league! Seriously? Makes you wonder if Vilma should be getting himself into the concussion lawsuit.
The league made their evidence available to the players. Check out this link here, not only was the evidence made available to the players, the players put the evidence up on their website! The league made their evidence available to the players, but the players didn’t contradict it.
The last excuse of guilty people is to blame the process. Anyone that is looking to get off on a technicality is typically guilty.
Earth to the Saints players. Enough!
Let’s look at the argument that the players are actually making, the argument against the process. The NFLPA’s argument was that the commissioner can’t hear these appeals, as it is basically a conflict of interest.
Now, read this excerpt from the CBA:
..the Commissioner may serve as hearing officer in any appeal under Section 1 (a) of this Article at his discretion.
In case you were wondering, Section 1(a) refers in part, to conduct detrimental to the game, which these suspensions are.
So, the very point that the NFLPA is arguing, is a point that THEY AGREED UPON. Is DeMaurice Smith saying he didn’t read it? He loses a lot of credibility by arguing a point in an agreement that he signed.
Despite all of that, the players went through their appeals, and lost.
Time to take your punishments. Earth to the Saints now, it’s enough.