Goodell, NFL losing upper-hand with players

It’s official. The NFL has gone soft.

League officials are like a bunch of strict, conservative parents that discipline their children at any moment of disobedience.

As of late, the NFL is suspending players for any sign of misconduct, or multiple offenses by a player.

The beginning of the year started with suspensions handed to players and coaches from the New Orleans Saints for the bounty scandal. Those suspensions have been a disaster, as the NFL couldn’t keep its upper hand over the players. The coaches have been the only ones to serve their proper suspensions.

The league got walked on and made the league look foolish, as the players that were originally suspended are currently playing as we speak. This is just one example of the NFL’s power it lacks to maintain over players and coaches.

In the past, suspensions have fallen upon players making stupid choices off the field. Whether its domestic violence, assault or drug use, there are a select few that endure those consequences.

How hard can it be to not make stupid decisions as a player when you’re making millions of dollars?

Obviously pretty tough. Especially when you know everyone is watching your every tweet, every breath and move you make.

Yes, like The Police.

For some reason, there are athletes who cannot control their anger or drug habits. Steroids or illegal substances have unbelievably become a common occurrence in sports.

Lately, the penalties given to NFL players pertain to unnecessary roughness and hits to the head.

This is where the NFL has lost its mind and the respect of past and present players — let alone the fans.

Fans pay money to see big hits and touchdowns. They don’t pay money to see some of their favorite team’s best players sidelined with suspensions.

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed was initially handed a one-game suspension after his hit on Emmanuel Sanders of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 18. Reed made helmet-to-helmet contact with Sanders, thus resulting in his third violation in three seasons. Granted, Reed’s hit did not look intentional or purposeful, as Sanders was going to the ground as Reed went to make a clean hit.

The NFL overreacted and presented Reed his one-game penalty the very next day, which showed that the league believed, without reasonable doubt, the suspension was deserved.

However, it didn’t take a day later for the NFL to hear a complaint and appeal from Reed for the league to overturn its ruling. Reed’s suspension was dropped to a $50,000 fine.

Reed won that battle on multiple levels, as he got to keep his $400,000 game check and play the following Sunday.

The NFL is weak, period.

When the league tries to walk with a big stick and hand out punishments, the players rebel and trounce their rulings.

The NFL is just getting “punk’d.”

None of the players have any respect or regard for the league, more specifically for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Nothing positive has been said about Goodell for a few seasons now and it has made a turn for the worse during the lockout.

Fans booed Goodell at the NFL Drafts every time he would take the stage to announce each pick. Players have recently come out and bad-mouthed Goodell through the media.

The NFL and Goodell have quickly become as big of a joke as the NBA and its commissioner, David Stern.

Somehow, the MLB’s Bud Selig has emerged as the top commissioner in sports.

 

Reach the columnist at msterrel@asu.edu