By: LaShawn Encarnacion (aka The Dark Knight of Sports)
With the Tom Brady/Defaltegate news still looming large over the NFL front offices and the Patriots Nation, the beginning of the “NEW” NFL, one which there are disciplines are carried out for crimes like multiple DUI/DWIs, domestic violence crimes, sexual abuse/child abuse etc…
The 3-game suspension of Chiefs CB Sean Smith due to DUI conviction with a sentence of two-year probation period is a good example of where the NFL is going with implementing their new and more harsh policies. There was an obvious conviction and sentence was carried out. Easy decision.
A much more complex situation is the Greg Hardy domestic violence case out of North Carolina. Hardy was charged AND convicted in a court of law. That was when the 10-game suspension was handed down by the NFL. But because of North Carolina laws, Hardy was allowed to appeal his conviction and when that appeal took place, the key witness was mysteriously a “no-show” to testify against Hardy. So the conviction was overturned and then the NFLPA got involved and managed to reduce Hardy’s 10-game suspension down to just four games.
That all leads to the Tom Brady/Deflategate case. When the NFL decided to come down on the New England Patriots and Tom Brady over “under-deflated” footballs in the AFC Championship, the NFL Commissioner ruled that Tom Brady would get a four-game suspension based on the findings of the Ted Wells report. Brady filed an appeal on June 23rd and is waiting the appeal ruling from Goodell who heard the appeal directly (as it was his right by the collective-bargaining agreement). Reports are surfacing as recent as Wednesday that the NFLPA proposed a settlement agreement and it was met with “silence.” ESPN First Take Dynamic Duo of Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith debate it.
There is no time-table for a decision to be made public, this according to Goodell himself. NFL officials reiterate that a settlement is all apart of the appeals process to avoid court time.
But lets forget about the schematics and focus on the specific four-game suspension for this article’s purpose. FOUR GAMES for possibly cheating in the NFL compared to domestic violence crime that was overturned on a TECHNICALITY??? This is one of the BIGGEST complications that the NFL is facing right now and why it is to be believed that the Tom Brady ruling is being dragged out
How can the NFL justify a four-game suspension for BOTH of these crimes when one is much more severe in society than the other. Is cheating the sport just as bad as domestic violence is in society? Well if you ask Pete Rose or the 1919 Chicago White Sox, they would say YES. But this is 2015 and while Rose continues to be banned from the sport of baseball, Tom Brady is not asking to be banned from the NFL nor is anyone else.
The “NEW” NFL is one that is just figuring out its NEW discipline policy for domestic crimes like DUI/DWIs, domestic violence etc… It will take time for the NFL and state law enforcement and courts can catch up and work together on a common ground policy. The Greg Hardy situation did not help the NFL any and whatever decision comes in the Tom Brady case will be seen as a humongous failure on the resume of Roger Goodell. Yet most would forget this is NOT the first time that the New England Patriots have been involved in more than one scandal that challenged the “integrity of the game.” Remember Spygate? The weird formation that the Patriots used in their Super Bowl run last season? The NFL rules committee had to make a ruling to ban those types of formations for next season, so its no surprise.
Bottom line, the NFL dropped the ball on the Greg Hardy suspension and because of that fumble, the Brady situation will not be looked at in positive eyes … but be patient everyone because the “NEW” NFL is like a newborn baby, takes time to develop and get things right.
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