NFL Punishments: Fair Or Not?

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Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs with the ball during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Rice Incident

It is no longer just about what you could label under the heading “failed drugs tests.” We now have a stash of cases for behavior that does not meet the league’s expectations. To put it into lamest terms, the NFL has a problem with criminal cases. Let’s begin with the incident in Atlantic City when Ray Rice and his then girlfriend. There is video of Rice dragging the unconscious body of his girlfriend through the hotel. From a PR standpoint, you could classify this in the “Nightmare” category for both Rice and the NFL.  Yes, Rice and his girlfriend are now married and have patched it up, but this was for the NFL a test case.

I understand Roger Goodel, is basically judge and jury in all of these cases. He has to wait for any legal ramifications, and has to operate under the innocent until proven guilty assumptions. However when the news that Ray Rice would be suspended only be out for 2 weeks, all hell broke loose in both social and actual media. Domestic abuse is not acceptable and should not appear to be so, but a 2 week ban would appear to onlookers to make domestic abuse a lot less serious than smoking a joint.

At the time, one of the league’s strictest coaches of our divisional rivals San Francisco 49ers, Jim Harbaugh was on record as saying he will protect his players from everything except hitting a woman. Interesting, now that his stance will be tested as Ray McDonald of the 49ers seems set to be charged with that very deed. This coming out after Goodel issued a statement  basically admitted the league got it wrong with the Rice case. Goodel mentioned the behavior of league employee’s needs to be beyond reproach in this area. He believes this should come with an automatic 6 game ban for first offense and a year for a subsequent charge. Let’s hope Harbaugh doesn’t let a second chance happen for this and McDonald is cut.