“Obviously, any policies or any laws that are broken — whether you’re commissioner, owner, player or coach — are subject to discipline.”
Such restraint is remarkable because it’s been nonexistent for players.
The Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for six games (later reduced to four) in 2010 after he was accused of sexual assault. Prosecutors eventually decided not to press charges but Goodell’s punishment stood.
In a letter to Big Ben, Goodell wrote: “You are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville (Ga.) that can be remotely described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”
Goodell wants the process to play out in Irsay’s case, but Michael Vick was ordered to stay away from training camp in 2007 while his dog-fighting case played out. In 2011, Terrelle Pryor was suspended for five games based on NCAA infractions, not legal or civil issues.
Cedric Benson was suspended that same season for three games (later reduced to one) … for a bar fight when he was an unemployed free agent!
Whatever the case, there’s certainly no rush to judgment if you write the checks, like the Browns’ Jimmy Haslam.
His gas station chain, Pilot Flying J, is accused of systematic fraud that cost customers $100 million or more. Last year, in a 158-page affidavit based on whistleblowers, taped conversations and confiscated computer files, the FBI claimed the CEO knew all about the scheme.
“Jimmy Haslam is a man of great integrity,” Goodell said last summer.
Yeah, it’s good to be the king.
Or an NFL owner.