Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NFL does right by punishing Roethlisberger

I have to give National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell credit for imposing a six-game suspension on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The player’s appallingly bad behavior demanded punishment, but I thought Goodell & Co. might wimp out and settle for a major fine rather than barring Roethlisberger from playing the game loves so much.

The NFL and the Steelers could have easily tried to hide behind the fact that no criminal charges were filed against the quarterback. This wasn't the first time his behavior was out of line. But it seems like now there was a recognition by league and team officials that his behavior was so outrageous, inappropriate on so many levels, if not downright illegal, that they could not let him get a away with it.

Would I have liked to see a more substantial punishment? No question. But I think the league gave him the longest suspension defensible from their perspective. The punishment could increase if the quarterback shows no improvement in his behavior. The only downside is that the suspension could be reduced to four games if Roethlisberger successfully completes a counseling program. But he is going to have a high bar to climb for a reduction after the embarrassment he caused the NFL and the Steelers.

Thanks to brunkfordbraun via Wikipedia for the photo.

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