Ryan Clark: Commish needs to act

Updated: May 22, 2014, 8:19 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark criticized commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, saying the fact that he's yet to punish Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay "shows the hypocrisy of the NFL."

"Right now, if Jim Irsay is going to represent this league, represent the Indianapolis Colts, going to be on TV at the owners meetings, trying to bring a Super Bowl to Indianapolis after what he's done? It shows the hypocrisy of the NFL and also Roger Goodell in the way that he deals with players and the way he deals for the people he works for," Clark said during an appearance as a guest analyst on ESPN's "First Take."

"He's always said, 'Well, I don't work for the owners.' That's not true. Because in the CBA negotiations, you were sitting with the owners."

Irsay was arrested March 16 for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle at the time. The owner faces four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Irsay appeared at the NFL owners meetings in Atlanta on Monday but declined to speak about the arrest or his stay at a rehabilitation facility.

ClarkSo when has having enough information been what Roger Goodell waits for to make these decisions? When does a charge necessarily warrant the penalty? We've seen in so many cases Roger Goodell be judge and jury when it comes to players.

-- Redskins S Ryan Clark, during appearance as guest analyst on ESPN's "First Take"

Asked about the situation this week, Goodell said, "There have been no charges. So the answer is, until we have more information or more facts, we will let it play out."

That explanation irked Clark, who cited the case of former Pittsburgh Steelers teammate Ben Roethlisberger as an example of Goodell acting swiftly on a player who hadn't been charged with a crime.

The quarterback was not charged in April 2010 in a case involving a 20-year-old college student who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Georgia nightclub, but Goodell suspended him six games (it was later reduced to four) for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

"So when has having enough information been what Roger Goodell waits for to make these decisions?" Clark said on "First Take." "When does a charge necessarily warrant the penalty? We've seen in so many cases, Roger Goodell be judge and jury when it comes to players.

"So here we have Jim Irsay, a guy, an owner, who has history of substance abuse, who's found in a car with over $29K and prescription drugs that weren't in his name, pulled over for driving under the influence, and now we're saying we need more information? What more information do we need than these aren't your prescription pills? You're obviously under the influence. You have $29k. There would be no questions asked if this was a player."

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