In response to our most recent item regarding the fact that the NFL never has suspended a player under the Personal Conduct Policy who was not arrested or charged, a reader pointed out the case of Packers tight end Mark Chmura.
And so we hopped in the DeLorean (Lee Iacocca’s biggest failure) and went back in time by nearly a decade.
In early 2001, Chmura was tried for raping his 17-year-old babysitter at a post-prom party. After a full-blown trial, Chmura was acquitted.
After the proceedings concluded, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue determined that punishment was not warranted, and Tagliabue immediately reinstated Chmura.
Though Chmura never played again, due in large part to a neck injury that limited him to only two games in his final season of 1999, the fact that he received an immediate green light to return to the NFL is jarring in light of the current atmosphere regarding player misconduct.
And while Chmura’s case constitutes the kind of precedent that would carry weight in a court of law, the NFL has adopted a far different attitude since then. Today, a player who shows up at an after-prom party after a night of heavy drinking and gets accused of raping a 17-year-old girl would never play again in the NFL, for reasons other than a neck injury.