Goodell properly keeps Lynch accountable

August, 3, 2009
8/03/09
6:11
PM ET
Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch will serve all three games of his suspension.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the right call by not rescinding any of the punishment he handed down in April for Lynch's repeatedly unlawful behavior.

"Commissioner Roger Goodell has notified Marshawn Lynch that he has reviewed his appeal of a three-game suspension for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy and that it should not be modified," the NFL said in a statement.

As I wrote when the suspension was announced, Lynch needed to face the consequences:
As much as the three-game suspension is a reprimand, it's also a personal message to Lynch that he cannot continue to keep embarrassing himself, the Bills and the NFL and dodge consequences.

Lynch mostly has avoided being accountable so far. He has learned that if you play the system, apologize and act contrite, authority figures will make your problems smaller.

Maybe Lynch would have learned a lesson earlier if an authority figure had stood his ground with him before this.

Lynch played cute with Erie County district attorney's office after a hit-and-run incident last summer in downtown Buffalo and essentially got off with a finger-wagging.

Nine months later, Lynch was arrested on multiple gun charges for carrying a loaded, concealed and unregistered 9 mm handgun and avoided any serious punishment. In a plea deal, he received three years probation and was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

Not helping Lynch were additional indiscretions the Bills have faced this year. Safeties Ko Simpson and Donte Whitner were arrested for disorderly conduct in separate confrontations with police officers. Whitner was tasered into submission.

Ostensibly, the Goodell's stern ruling was amplified to include the entire Buffalo locker room if not the whole league.

Some Bills fans were certain Goodell would reduce the suspension by at least one game because of the precedent set forth with Brandon Marshall prior to last season.

The problem with that theory is that the reduction backfired. Goodell tried to be merciful, but apparently no lesson was learned. Marshall was arrested March 1 in Atlanta for disorderly conduct stemming from a physical altercation with his fiancee. It was Marshall's fourth arrest since March 2006.

Goodell's decision to uphold Lynch's three-game suspension was correct.

For once, somebody didn't ease his burden. Maybe now he'll figure out the right way to carry himself.

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