Helping the Helpless

Jun
28
Ted WilliamsAP Photo/Columbus Dispatch/Doral Chenoweth III

Normally I don't do this type of post until the V Foundation auction, but I feel compelled to reach out a helping hand. Jonathan Vilma and Scott Fujita really need your help. These poor, innocent football players are being railroaded by the big, bad, NFL. For those of you unfamiliar with their plight, allow me to recount for you a timeline of their misery:

1) The NFL Players Association, of which Fujita and Vilma are members, votes to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement that allows Commissioner Roger Goodell to rule on all personal conduct matters - including appeals to those rulings.

2)Despite repeated warnings over multiple seasons from the league, Vilma and Fujita are revealed to have participated in a bounty program.

3)The NFL punishes Vilma, Fujita, and others for their role in said bounty program.

Clearly, you can see why these players would be upset. I mean, if deliberately broke the rules and my boss warned me multiple times before punishing me in perfect accordance with an agreement I signed months earlier, I'd be pretty ticked off about it, too!

Make no mistake, I agree with the idea that Roger Goodell has too much power. Take a look at the clothes at any NBA press conference and you'll see how bad human beings can be at making decisions. Throw in more money than God and a weekly TV audience of about half the planet and you've got a recipe for disaster. Without checks and balances we'll all eventually end up going down a path that can't be found by our intellectual GPS.

The problem is that the players completely blew their chance to do anything about it. Earth to every single NFL player that has a problem with Roger Goodell's iron fist: This is all your fault! If he was truly as out of control as so many players claim, why didn't you cut his legs out from under him in the new collective bargaining agreement? Why not set up a system where the appeal goes to someone else? If you didn't care enough about Goodell to limit his disciplinary power during the CBA negotiations, you can't cry about the discipline he hands out using power you allowed him to wield.

And if I could address the self-righteous Saints fans that try and defend these guys. The NFL isn't a court of law. The phrase, “innocent until proven guilty” means absolutely nothing in this situation, and if you can't understand that, I'm going to go ahead and assume you're guilty of being a moron. The NFL doesn't have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to punish you– in fact, they don't have to prove guilt at all! Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for four games in 2010 despite never being arrested for, or charged with, a single crime!

Let's get these games going already so I can get back to praising Tony Romo and bashing Tim Tebow. That, and enjoying watching the Saints go down in flames.

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