- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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I got an email from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier Friday and I’m guessing quite a few of you got the same thing.
If you’re a fan of the New Orleans Saints, you might not have been very happy with what “The Commish’’ had to say. I know there’s a school of thought out there that Goodell might be softening his stance a bit on the bounty program and might even reduce some of the penalties he handed down.
I don’t think that’s going to happen. Goodell opened the note by welcoming fans to the 2012 season and then dove straight in with some pretty strong words about bounty programs.
“Let me be clear: there is no place for bounties in football,’’ Goodell said in a mass email to fans. “No exceptions. No excuses. Bounties are an affront to everything that competitive sports should represent. Everyone in the NFL is responsible for adhering to these rules and we are all accountable for protecting the safety of our players -- present and future.
“The bounty prohibition forbids offering or accepting any reward -- cash or otherwise -- for on-field misconduct, plays that incentivize or result in injury to opposing players, or for performance against an opposing player, group of players or team. The bounty prohibition not only preserves the competitive integrity of our game, but also protects player safety by removing incentives that could lead to dangerous play or unnecessary and/or intentional injury. As a league, we will ensure that the prohibition against bounties is clearly understood and consistently enforced. Period.’’
Hmm, at least to me, Goodell doesn’t sound like a man that’s in the process of backtracking.