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NFL should ban former players who tarnish the shield

The case of Lawrence Taylor, a Hall of Famer who faces up to four years in jail for statutory rape, reminds me of the first time I took my son to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  There we stood, before the bust of Orenthal James Simpson.

He had been acquitted (somehow) of double murder, and he had been found legally responsible for the deaths in civil court.  Eventually, he’d find himself in hot water in connection with memorabilia that he by all appearances was trying to sell without exposing the money to the multi-million-dollar judgment held by the family of his ex-wife and the family of Ron Goldman.

Should O.J. Simpson have remained in the Hall of Fame?  If Lawrence Taylor is convicted, should he stay there?  The rules of the Hall of Fame inexplicably exempt off-field behavior from the consideration, a rule that could make for some interesting discussions if Marvin Harrison is behind bars when the voters retreat behind closed doors to consider his ultimate football fate.

If the folks who run the show in Canton won’t change the rules to eject men convicted of felonies from the Hall of Fame, maybe we should aim one level higher.  If the NFL adopts a rule permanently banning players who commit serious violations of the law, surely the Pro Football Hall of Fame would respect that approach.

And why shouldn’t the league office shun convicted felons?  The league hopes to protect the shield.  A former player can do just as much damage to the league’s image as an active player.  When an O.J. Simpson or a Lawrence Taylor gets in trouble, the same media outlets that report and discuss and debate cases involving a Mike Vick or a Ben Roethlisberger will report and discuss and debate the cases involving retired players.

So why not excommunicate former players who bring shame to the game?  If they’re receiving ongoing benefits from the league, they rightly have an ongoing obligation not to harm the league’s interests. 

The NFL should be proud of every man enshrined in Canton, and every parent who takes a child to the Hall of Fame shouldn’t have to quickly nudge him or her along when they linger before the image of a man who has posed both for a bronze bust and for a mug shot.

We’re not suggesting that every player who gets arrested once should be blocked or removed from the Hall of Fame.  But there should be a procedure in place for cutting ties with men who commit heinous acts after their careers end.  Whether it’s done via hard-and-fast rules or on a case-by-case basis, former players should be subject to the same type of banishment that sports like baseball aren’t bashful about using, when justified.

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198 Responses to “NFL should ban former players who tarnish the shield”
  1. joneildu says: May 6, 2010 10:47 PM

    No, the baseball HoF tries to play this game and it’s the biggest joke of a HoF in sports.

  2. MooninLambeau says: May 6, 2010 10:50 PM

    Pro FOOTBALL Hall of Fame- for accolades accomplished usually in the stat book or in the win column. Why turn a cold shoulder to a former player who helped make the NFL what is today for us modern day fans.

  3. Tibor says: May 6, 2010 10:51 PM

    Stupid.
    Taylor and OJ were the greatest players ever to play. They deserve to be in the HOF. Now, if they were arrested during their careers, and lost games/seasons because of it, that would be different. But their problems happened afterwards.
    Now, please no comparisons to Pete Rose. Rose cheated the rules of baseball by betting WHILE STILL A COACH. If OJ had killed an opposing player instead of his ex-wife, he woudl be banned too.

  4. azbears says: May 6, 2010 10:51 PM

    Yeah know.. I can see some since in this.
    If the Convicted player is not removed from the Hall of fame, the benefits they are recieving should be discontinued immediately upon conviction.
    But I really think it should be a case by case basis but a rape charge is pretty severe and so is murder.

  5. TylerDurden says: May 6, 2010 10:52 PM

    Umm, no Mike. Just leave it. From what I understand and I’m sure that you know as well, your innocent until proven guilty and if your acquitted by a jury of your peers then your not guilty. Pretty simple, really….

  6. FixorrepairD says: May 6, 2010 10:53 PM

    Yer nuts Florio and I’m glad you don’t get to make the rules here.
    It doesn’t change the fact that the guy was one of the best to ever play the game.
    It’s like keeping Pete Rose out of the Baseball hall of fame which is just plain stupid.

  7. IAVikefan says: May 6, 2010 10:53 PM

    2 words: Pete Friggin Rose. Do you want football ending up like this???

  8. James says: May 6, 2010 10:55 PM

    Stupid. Let the players be remembered for their on-field actions.

  9. The Oven says: May 6, 2010 10:55 PM

    No Patriots from the past 10 years should be honored.

  10. The Nomad says: May 6, 2010 10:55 PM

    No.

  11. buzzbissinger says: May 6, 2010 10:55 PM

    …and didn’t the Baseball HoF agree to take Barry’s HR ball even if Ecko put an asterisk on it?

  12. kristoff says: May 6, 2010 10:56 PM

    dont take ur son to the HOF if u r so sick of it!! lmao!! get a life florio. while your at it,fire the card’s hitting coach and ban him from baseball 4 life!!

  13. radiohead433 says: May 6, 2010 10:57 PM

    At the very least take their plaque down.

  14. kpweaver27 says: May 6, 2010 10:58 PM

    Florio, for a legal mind, you’re treading on dangerous waters. You’re suggesting bans on people who weren’t convicted, or have yet to be convicted. Sure public opinion can be that O.J. did it, but you can’t ban him for that, and you know it. You even talk about Marvin Harrison, a guy whose case was thrown out by the PA D.A. Careful Florio. Seriously. It would be tragic karma for you if someone accused you of a terrible crime that you weren’t convicted of, and it marred your reputation, your job, and your family. I’m really, really disappointed by this. You’d do well to retract it.

  15. Bravesfan4life88 says: May 6, 2010 10:58 PM

    HoF is about what you accomplish on the field. Nothing else.

  16. florios_mom says: May 6, 2010 10:58 PM

    Florio, your a penis weasel. Stick to (barely) reporting the news. Since when did this site start an OpEd section?

  17. Bravesfan4life88 says: May 6, 2010 10:58 PM

    Are we going to start putting guys in the HoF for being really nice guys too?

  18. dafish says: May 6, 2010 10:59 PM

    slippery slope. Does Hornung get banned, Namath, George Preston Marshall?
    I come from the school of thought that players, coaches, etc. get inducted based on their accomplishments while plying their craft, not what they do long after they retire.

  19. hayward giablommi says: May 6, 2010 10:59 PM

    For someone who purports to have some legal expertise, you sure seem to ignore that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing guaranteed by law, no?

  20. IanWhetstone says: May 6, 2010 11:00 PM

    Because it’s the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the NFL Hall of Good Samaritans? Because even the NFL isn’t quite at that level of sanctimonious bullcrap yet?
    So, in six or seven or eight years, will you be keeping Ray Lewis out of your Hall of Fame, Mr. Florio?

  21. LewD says: May 6, 2010 11:01 PM

    they should just add an extra room to the HOF building and include the appropriate players in the wing titled “the Hall of Shame” …

  22. God's Own Silver and Blue says: May 6, 2010 11:01 PM

    Never gonna happen (retroactive booting from the HoF). If a reprobate like Ty Cobb (one of the most miserable and despicable human beings ever to draw breath) can still be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, then I suppose a case could be made that anybody short of Adolf Hitler would be welcomed into the Football variant.

  23. edgerules says: May 6, 2010 11:02 PM

    I understand where you are coming from, Mike, but it is the Hall of FAME, not the Hall of perfect little angels. If you had that, I bet a whole bunch of them would be kicked out. MLB is trying to pull this crap, and it is a joke.

  24. IanWhetstone says: May 6, 2010 11:03 PM

    Oh, and how about Jim Brown? Look at the laundry list of heinous stuff that Jim Brown has been in trouble for in his career. Can your Hall of Sanctimony tolerate Jim Brown?
    And maybe a better question… would a football hall of fame even be worth having without Jim Brown in it?

  25. Jon Evans says: May 6, 2010 11:04 PM

    If we are going to start booting people out of the HOF who are bad off the field… should we start adding people who are model citizens and use all their time helping the community but suck when it actually comes game time?
    Gotta look at it both ways.

  26. sgcrys says: May 6, 2010 11:05 PM

    Or, you could just be like me and ignore that the Hall of Fame exists. As long as sports writers hold the vote over players that are in or out, and as long as there is a number capping those allowed in each year, the Hall will remain a joke even without legal problems of former players.

  27. ppdoc13 says: May 6, 2010 11:05 PM

    Gotta disagree here. What the guy does after he leaves the game should not be a criteria for removing him from the NFL. No more than if some mediocre player became the Pope after his career and then be enshrined. The HOF is for accomplishment of the field, not off the field after the player has retired.

  28. thewizardofbrahs says: May 6, 2010 11:06 PM

    im trying to comprehend all of this right now,and i’m sweatin like lawrence taylor watching 16 candles

  29. bobinpuertorico says: May 6, 2010 11:06 PM

    Former players who embarrass the NFL should not only be thrown out of the Hall of Fame, but the fact that they ever played for the league and all of their career statistics should be expunged from official NFL records.
    More importantly, current players who commit felonies (even if not actually convicted) like Mike Vick and Ben Rapistberger should be banned from ever playing in the league and their past accomplishments should be expunged from league records.

  30. marktg30 says: May 6, 2010 11:07 PM

    The fact that Pete Rose isn’t in and OJ and LT are is sickening.

  31. The Wishbone says: May 6, 2010 11:07 PM

    You need to get off your soap box and get back to doing your job. If your son doesn’t know it’s crazy to rely on prostitutes and pimps, or that it’s not cool to slash a woman’s throat, that’s not Lawrence Taylor or O.J. Simpson’s fault. They’re in Canton for how awesome they were on a football field. People go to Canton for football history, not to obsess over what a nice guy someone was or wasn’t off the field.

  32. PYFLO says: May 6, 2010 11:09 PM

    Lawrence Taylor is the second biggest piece of crap that has ever worn an NFL jersey. What else do you expect from crack head, coke addict who used to fire up the pipe in the locker room at half time? Leave him in the HOF so when I take my sons I can show them what waste of oxygen looks like.

  33. RED GRANGE says: May 6, 2010 11:11 PM

    Florio….Shut Up. You should be banned for suggesting something so stupid. If that was the crtiteria then more than half of The HOF would have to go.

  34. benjua says: May 6, 2010 11:11 PM

    This will be the last time the words ‘mike vick’ and ‘hall of fame’ are in the same article.

  35. this class sucks says: May 6, 2010 11:12 PM

    We get it Ben, you don’t want Ben in the hall of fame. Get over it. They shouldn’t take OJ out because he was a fantastic football player, just like LT was. If Ben continues like he has, he will be in the hall of fame. Just like OJ, just like LT, just like the plenty of other douche bags that are in the hall of fame. Its about football Florio, you self righteous internet hack who probably spends every night justifying the lack of time he sees his family to himself.

  36. VegasChris says: May 6, 2010 11:12 PM

    MOST New York football players are stupid.
    I didn’t say ALL of them, so chill.
    Post a players name, and I will tell you stupid or not stupid.
    I’ll start.
    L.T. Child, please!
    Tiki Barber. Stupid.
    Next?

  37. blitzburgh1 says: May 6, 2010 11:13 PM

    It’s a frikkin’ game.

  38. edgy1957 says: May 6, 2010 11:13 PM

    Start with LT and you’ll soon find people coming out of the woodwork with evidence that could empty most of the Hall quickly. Do you include adultry and wife beating or just the big sins? Go after Irvin for his drugs and you’ll have people who will want to get rid of Favre because of his alcohol and Vicodin addictions.
    Once you go down the holier-than-thou road, you won’t be able to turn back.

  39. Andy Reid's Third Chin says: May 6, 2010 11:14 PM

    Simply, no.
    It’s the pro football hall of fame, with football being the key word. Opinions, whether they belong to you, me, or anyone else are 100% irrelevant with regards to the character of a football player away from the football field versus their accomplishments on it.
    Feel free to go start the Nice Guy Attorney Hall of Fame, if that is what are in to.

  40. bob nelson is a idiot says: May 6, 2010 11:14 PM

    looking for hits floria

  41. therewasone says: May 6, 2010 11:15 PM

    Hey Florio, you might want to do a package check? You sound more like a woman everyday. Life isn’t fair. You’ll never please everyone which means someone isn’t going to like the out come. It’s the FOOTBALL hall of fame. Not the HOW YOU LIVED YOUR LIFE hall. Maybe we could try and remember that these people did some good things as well as be human?

  42. famucancer says: May 6, 2010 11:19 PM

    maybe if your son could look up to you, it wouldnt be a problem for you to recognize that the Hall of Fame is about achievement on the field and not about raising your child.

  43. Hooby says: May 6, 2010 11:19 PM

    taylor is the best lb ever, but he had sex with a 15 year old…doesnt matter if the HOF doesnt consider off the field issues. if someones in jail for murder in the first, nobody in their right mind would vote him in. and if they did consider it, they would then reconsider because of the horrible image it would give the HOF.
    but LT and OJ can rape and murder anyone, their busts are safe

  44. Chapnasty2 says: May 6, 2010 11:21 PM

    I personally think that just because you have a forum to speak doesn’t mean you should speak about whatever you want. Florio you have had a rough day today with your posts, time for bed.

  45. houstonsimpleton says: May 6, 2010 11:21 PM

    And it should ban strap-hanging mouth-flapping wannabe suckers at the trough of gold, too, who tarnish the sport with their insipid golden goose egg-sucking. Anything to be identified with real players and real sport and a real league. Start with Florio, of course.

  46. Slow Joe says: May 6, 2010 11:22 PM

    Eh. I’m on the fence.
    If you were great on the field, and you created many amazing memories for people, the kind worthy of the Hall, I think you should get in and stay in.
    Buuuuut…if the first thing you think of when you see the person is the crimes he committed, that’s not a good thing either. As bad as this rape thing is for LT, it will, eventually, be forgotten about. Quite possibly, it will be the same for Marvin Harrison. But O.J. will never be thought of as a star running back again. He’ll always be thought of as a murderer. So that may be the best example of your argument.

  47. lichnor says: May 6, 2010 11:22 PM

    Sure. Ban them.
    Now, can we get a committee to go through every single current member of the HOF and dig through their past looking for transgressions so we can kick them out too?
    I mean, in a day and age where the press actively hid JFKs affairs, who the hell knows what they covered up for pro athletes at the time, right? And that’s just he 1960’s.
    I figure you would have about a 45% rate of eviction, if not more.

  48. FixorrepairD says: May 6, 2010 11:24 PM

    C’mon Florio, this is exactly why you have no say so in the rules.
    LT was and still is one of the greatest players to ever play this game. To not have him in the hall of fame would be a cruel joke.
    Look at baseball. The man who had the most hits in his career is not in their hall of fame yet they have players on steroids who are in the hall of fame. What a joke they are!

  49. MrHumble says: May 6, 2010 11:27 PM

    If a player can be banned from playing for his actions, he should certainly be banned or booted out of the HOF.

  50. DieHardSkinsFan21 says: May 6, 2010 11:29 PM

    I think this should be taken a step further. Not only cut off their benefits, but also stop selling the jerseys, and/or merchandise (if this isn’t covered) so that you can truly limit any income of these people who choose to be the dregs of society. I must say that I am not surprised that LT did this. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was all his idea. No matter how good a player he was (and he was ONE HELL of a player) he should act in a much more responsible light and not even be a question or option in this matter. Where there is smoke there is fire and he was probably high on cocaine as well. Lock this guy up and make it so he can no longer make a living no matter what. If I were a Giants fan I would cease to purchase any merchandise affiliated with this guy and burn anything I had. Thats me, but he has had about ten chances and struck out swinging every time. LT is a piece of Sh*t and I don’t mean Ladanian.

  51. comeondieyoung says: May 6, 2010 11:29 PM

    How about this: since they vote you in the Hall, they should be able to vote you out. Any player in the Hall who is subsequently convicted of a felony gets put up for vote and if he gets enough votes (same % as required for induction) then he’s out. This would only apply to guys who are convicted of crimes; the committee can’t vote someone out just because they change their mind about how good he was.

  52. WorldChampionBears2009 says: May 6, 2010 11:30 PM

    @ joneildu
    “and it’s the biggest joke of a HoF in sports.”
    you forget about the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

  53. SagNasty says: May 6, 2010 11:31 PM

    Florio…….. As much as LT’s alleged conduct is sickens me….. Not cool with the OJ analogy.

  54. PotheadCancer says: May 6, 2010 11:33 PM

    The HOF has nothing to do with a player’s personal life. What don’t y’all understand about that? Jeez!!

  55. Stella Big Blue says: May 6, 2010 11:34 PM

    You people are scum.
    The idea that someone can even compare the actions that LT is accused of to those of Ben Roethlisberger or O.J. Simpson is revolting.
    Despite the fact that before any facts were available LT was already viciously being smeared as having violently beaten and raped a girl, none of the actual allegations that have surfaced imply in any way that he had any intent to cause harm.
    Were this poor girl’s rights and dignity violated? Most certainly. If he is in fact convicted or pleads guilty to the charges, does LT bear moral culpability for that violation? Most likely, depending on the details that emerge, although certainly not as much as the pimp in question.
    However, irregardless of the criminal liability, on a moral plane the only crime that LT could be guilty of is negligence. He had a responsibility to ensure that the woman with whom he was cavorting had the capacity to consent, and he failed to do so (accepting for the moment that this 16 year old girl lacked the capacity to consent). LT’s negligence compounded upon this girl’s tragedy, but did not in any way initiate it.
    To equate that negligence with either having sex with a woman who repeatedly says no or with viciously murdering two people is a vile and disingenuous perversion of morality. It is a perversion that undermines a society’s ability to properly condemn truly unjustifiable evils like rape and murder.
    You filthy slanderous parasites should be ashamed of yourselves.

  56. florio4prez says: May 6, 2010 11:35 PM

    If you try a just a little bit harder Mike, I’m pretty sure you can work Big Ben’s name into every article you write.

  57. johnny says: May 6, 2010 11:35 PM

    Damn Florio. Or should I say, Judge and Jury. You already have this guy convicted and sentenced. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty. Sounds like your hurting just to put out a story. Tell NBC Sports to get off your back’s, that way you can get back to just giving us the latest transactions and stats, instead of trying to use the power of the press to put out a lousy story. Keep you kids at home, if your ashamed of the Football GREATS. Just my 2 cents.

  58. Rafterman says: May 6, 2010 11:36 PM

    The moral minority can take the PC crap and shove it where the sun don’t shine. These men aren’t role models, they are sports icons. Hence, the NFL’ s rule of only considering what they do on the field.

  59. Deb says: May 6, 2010 11:37 PM

    Absolutely not, Florio. I believe the system failed in Simpson’s case, but like it or not, he was acquitted. You want to start ejecting players from the Hall of Fame because of civil judgments?
    Yes, Simpson is now serving a criminal sentence and Taylor may join him. But that doesn’t alter the fact that Simpson was THE premier running back of his time and Taylor changed the game. They earned their spots in the Hall. To remove them is to pretend the first man to break 2000 yards rushing–in a 12-game season–didn’t exist, to pretend the most lethal pass rush in the modern game didn’t exist? Are you kidding?
    Yes, parents think every kid should be first, proper nouns should be allowed in Scrabble, and school curricula should be dumbed down so everyone gets an A. Real life doesn’t always fit into a pretty plastic bubble. Tell your child the TRUTH. Tell him these were extraordinarily gifted athletes who let wealth, fame, power, drugs, whatever destroy their lives. But don’t pretend they didn’t exist or that their accomplishments didn’t benefit the game.

  60. jaynovel says: May 6, 2010 11:39 PM

    Good points made here….. I honestly can’t say… but LT is an idiot without question

  61. cowboyskillegals says: May 6, 2010 11:44 PM

    yes oj and lt should be the first a child molester shouldnt b in the hall. it is one thing to get a hooker of age and do what u do and go on with your bussiness, but when u beat a fifteen year old to have sex with u is another

  62. jimmy_b says: May 6, 2010 11:45 PM

    Yes, I thought LT should have kicked out of the HOF years ago with his missteps. And OJ certainly should be kicked out.

  63. Ska4Life says: May 6, 2010 11:46 PM

    Hall of Fame should be about football and only football. I don’t care what you do on your own time, if you were great on the field, you deserve to be in. Otherwise you’re just denying the truth because the do-no-wrong image we like to give our superstars has been shattered. I don’t care what 16 year old girl Lawrence Taylor had sex with, it still doesn’t change what he did on the field.

  64. VegasChris says: May 6, 2010 11:48 PM

    Joyce Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah, probably all of them would have been there for you L.T.
    What more do you want?

  65. bill s says: May 6, 2010 11:49 PM

    Todays USA TODAY paper had an article about a man release from prison for rape about 29 years ago, why? because of DNA testing, he was the 254 person clear of the crime they were charge with. The Hall of Fame needs no help from you, they will make there own decision, you could just do what you do best, Dolphins and Jeff. Bill

  66. CanadianVikingFan says: May 6, 2010 11:49 PM

    Good idea Florio, really.
    The only problem is, where is the line drawn at what is worth removing or excluding someone from the HoF.
    All for the idea though.

  67. Just Drew It! says: May 6, 2010 11:52 PM

    I agree. the league is filled with thugs and we need to start penalizing them when they act as thugs.
    It is a privilege to play football. It is a privilege to be honored in the HOF. They rape/kill somebody, take that privilege away. Simple.

  68. TheFoo says: May 6, 2010 11:54 PM

    Leave it alone! They’re in there based on their ability as a football player and nothing else. And it should remain that way.

  69. steeler560 says: May 6, 2010 11:55 PM

    When will the Internet finally ban Florio for being a huge douche? Players are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because they were great “players.” They don’t enshrine people into the Hall for being alter boys.
    I’m not saying “if” LT committed a crime that he doesn’t deserve to be punished, but you can’t ignore the fact that he was a top 5 impact player in the history of the game, and thus he, OJ or anyone else that does wrong that is in the HOF stays in the HOF!!
    The “shield”…give me a break, it’s a freakin’ game and even a bigger buisiness! People suddenly talk about the NFL in the same context as of it were a religion or something? Half the players in the NFL come from the streets and from broken homes they’re in the NFL because they could run, jump, catch, tackle better than most…not because they are nice guys.

  70. Zaypolean says: May 7, 2010 12:00 AM

    Maybe it is the parents fault for building up these players like they suppose to be perfect, God like figures. I blame the parents for being so nieve and letting their son go to a HOF ceremony for someone that had a drug problem.
    At the end of the day NBC and Florio has no say in the decision Goodell and the league make so your suggestions are pointless.

  71. Wick says: May 7, 2010 12:05 AM

    @ Florio who stated:
    NFL should ban former players who tarnish the shield – Posted by Mike Florio on May 6, 2010 10:44 PM ET
    And why shouldn’t the league office shun convicted felons?
    So why not excommunicate former players who bring shame to the game?
    = = = = = =
    First off, just exactly who is it that “decides” who has “brought shame to the game?”
    How absurd … particularly coming from someone who should’ve been schooled in due process and the rationale underlying same too lengthy to develop in this forum.
    No checks. No balances. Just “someone” or “some ones” decides for us who is and who isn’t meritorious.
    Is it the same jury that acquitted O.J.?
    Is it the District Attorney who sought to prosecute the Duke LaCrosse team?
    How about those who reveled in the Salem Witch Hunts?
    Is it the hypocritical cash-obsessed NCAA?
    How about Bobby Knight to tell us a rape victim should have just relaxed and enjoyed it?
    How about the Heisman voters who – amongst a long storied history of idiocy – “determined for us” that Gino Torreta was the best player in the land, over Marshall Faulk among others?
    How about John Edwards or any of dozens of Congressman who preach morals who get caught in adultery, some in bathroom stalls satiating homosexual urges, … the list goes on and on.
    Is it the same guy who decided to publicly proclaim that Bradshaw is dead?
    Who decides? It’ll have to be a human, right? And humans are flawed and fickle.
    We don’t need some self-righteous agenda-driven big brother overlord telling us who does or doesn’t belong?
    Do you not see the cause for concern in having some authority figure pandering to the lynch mob of the moment?
    The NFL Hall of Fame is about the National FOOTBALL League — not the league of nice fathers, sons, brothers, uncles and grandpas. It’s not the Hall of Choir Boys.
    O.J. was guilty. Anyone with three or four barely flickering brain cells can see that — but we can also distinguish that he’s garbage as a human being, but was indeed worthy of the Hall.
    And a lot of Hall of Famers had their troubles. Mike Irvin. Bob Hayes. Jim Brown. Just where do we draw the line?
    Your editorial is ludicrous and ill-conceived. It surprises me that someone as clearly intelligent as you are fail to see the folly in it.

  72. Scheer1852 says: May 7, 2010 12:09 AM

    NBC should ban you from this website for some of the heinous articles you’ve written here Florio.

  73. Red says: May 7, 2010 12:10 AM

    Should we kick everyone who died of a drug overdose out of the rock and roll hall of fame because they set bad examples for the kids?
    If your kid checks out a bust of O.J. Simpson and decides that winners commit double-homicide, the problem isn’t in the bronze.

  74. BigBear123 says: May 7, 2010 12:11 AM

    I love you.
    Seriously.

  75. KWKen says: May 7, 2010 12:11 AM

    What proof is there that O.J. committed those murders? That bloody and gruesome scene would not allow a man to get back into a triple white Ford Bronco and retreat to his home.
    I had probably watched more of the trial the most of the jurors and there is no way a person could morally convict him.
    Non-contested racist cop finds the incriminating evidence and non-contested evidence that blood was planted at O.J.’s house.
    “If the glove doesn’t fit, then you must acquit.”
    Look at the plausible evidence in that trial and “reasonable doubt” exists everywhere.

  76. Deel says: May 7, 2010 12:12 AM

    No they shouldn’t, they should leave it exactly how it is, a hall of fame is about how one played the game, not how much of a jerk (or how good a guy) is either. If their good/bad deeds are committed during their time in the game (and affect the game in an on the field manner) said deeds should be noted.
    BTW, is there a post on CFT related to the same subject? It’d be remiss not to make the same point for the College Gootball Hall of Fame.

  77. BigBear123 says: May 7, 2010 12:14 AM

    Currently there is a only handful of convicted felons playing in the NFL.
    These individuals cannot vote, own a firearm, serve on a jury, obtain a CDL or work in a majority of businesses, but the NFL is willing to employ them and let them parade around on national TV. Commissioner Goodell has increased punishment and has added a Personal Conduct Policy, but this does not go far enough.
    During the 2009 NFL season, an incredible 21 percent of the players had arrest records, although only a few were repeat offenders.
    Contact the NFL and tell them to implement a permanent ban for anyone convicted of a felony and strengthen punishment for repeat offenders, up to a permanent ban.
    Google “Pacman Jones” if you would like an example of a “repeat offender”.
    The crime rate in the NFL has dropped under the new Personal Conduct Policy. By threatening the possibility of a permanent ban for convicted felons or repeat offenders the NFL will send a clear message that they do hold a higher standard.
    Commisioner Goodell said:
    “It’s my responsibility to protect our reputation and our integrity. That’s what the personal conduct policy is; we all have to be held to a higher standard.
    “First, as a league, we rely on our credibility for acceptance with our public,” Goodell said. “The integrity of the game and people participating in it is a critical element.
    “Second, protection of our brand. It reflects poorly on our brand.
    “That’s why everyone came together to strengthen our policy years ago to make certain we keep that high standard.”

    Why does the NFL claim a higher standard while letting convicted felons hide behind the NFL shield?
    It is time to stop allowing Felons to rehab their image in the NFL. Institute a lifetime ban from the NFL for anyone who is convicted of a felony. Repeat criminal offenders also need to be considered for a lifetime ban.

    Email the NFL PR department with this message and tell them enough is enough.
    Contact your local representatives with this message and ask them to apply pressure and force the NFL to clean up its act. They waste their time on plenty of other issues, might as well get them involved with this.
    You can do that here: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

  78. dwite says: May 7, 2010 12:19 AM

    I love this site, but tonight, you’ve gone stupid. They are in the Halls of Fame because of their performance. I understand all the arguments — I was sports editor of a big-city newspaper for 20 years — but you can’t end up playing judge and jury for personal behavoir for all the years to come. Ty Cobb? Babe Ruth? …heavens, Michael Irvin?… And, pray tell, what are you gonna say if LT is not guilty? You’re a lawyer…you’ve got more sense than this. C’mon.

  79. CheersAdam says: May 7, 2010 12:27 AM

    It ultimately does not change their contribution as players to the league. Perhaps instead of shuffling past the bust, it can be pointed out as example of how far one can fall when they make bad choices.

  80. WWWFELLA71 says: May 7, 2010 12:28 AM

    first let me say i in no means believe O.J is innocent but why should he not be in the hall of fame? in the eyes of the law he is innocent of double murder. no matter how many people think he did it he was acquitted. now in the case that landed him in prison he was imprisoned for basically breaking in a hotel room and yelling at people. that was clearly payback for getting away the first time. but an interesting question would be what if O.j actually didnt do it? lmao

  81. GW says: May 7, 2010 12:30 AM

    STFU…The NFL isnt congress. I wish people would acting like being a part of it is the greatest privilege in the world. Freakish athletes are paid lots of money to throw themselves at one another. It doesnt take integrity, character or even intelligence in most cases to play in the NFL. Once they retire the NFL doesnt care about their players anyway. When did the NFL become a bastion of justice? Now the NFL has a joke of a commissioner who hands out suspensions as he is the attorney general. It should be up to the individual team to decide what they do with players who get in trouble with the law or have other problems. The NFL is getting too big for its britches and we could expect an asinine move the one Florio proposes to be discussed. Just another attempt by guys who didnt have the physical talents to be players in the NFL trying to get involved in the league anyway they can.

  82. nyjshane88 says: May 7, 2010 12:37 AM

    Not a bad idea but if they really enforced it, they would really thin the herd lol.

  83. ninerforever says: May 7, 2010 12:40 AM

    I agree, the hall of fame is for great players who contributed to the game. Regardless of what L.T. or O.J. have done off the field they were still great players when they played. Maybe place what they did on their HoF plaques.
    I mean kicking them out of the HoF and pretending they never existed seems a bit like a cover-up in my opinion.

  84. Shaen Ross says: May 7, 2010 12:41 AM

    During his life as a football player he was definatly one of the greatest of all time. The rest of his life has not been as successful, but that will never take away from what he was on the football field. He was the most dominant defensive player of all time amd if he is removed from the Hall of Fame you may as well not have one.
    The man has a serious sickness with drugs that most of us can not comprehend. I pray for his soul.

  85. hemicharger says: May 7, 2010 12:42 AM

    I agree with joneildu. Although LT’s actions are idiotic and reckless, it does not negate the fact that the man was a beast on the field.
    Further, look at Pete Rose. Do we really want an issue like that in the NFL? I love baseball but Bud Selig is a douche. Just like David Stern. I would hope the NFL totally ignores your rant Mr. Florio

  86. nerd says: May 7, 2010 12:44 AM

    Not every kid is as suggestible as Florio Jr. Maybe you should steer him towards the Bart Starr exhibit, bitch.
    I love you man.

  87. DC_Bengals_Fan says: May 7, 2010 12:47 AM

    The bigger question here is why Lawrence Freaking Taylor can’t get laid for free. By an adult woman. C’mon LT!

  88. goodjuan says: May 7, 2010 12:50 AM

    HOFs are a joke anyway. All of them.
    If the NFL is so concerned about image, why do they allow the DC franchise to use a racist name and logo? Redskins is the N word for native Americans.

  89. BonerNsweatpants says: May 7, 2010 12:55 AM

    I think we all know Halls of Fame are complete B. S. especially when you have such bias going into the voting. Hints Shannon Sharpe not being elected his first year and Bert Blylevin not being selected for the longest time in Baseball (just as 2 very simple examples)

  90. topspin24 says: May 7, 2010 1:03 AM

    I agree that they should be able to remove guys from the HoF. If they’re despicable people, I don’t really care what they did on the field. But what would the rule be? There would have to be serious consideration as to what the final straw would be to remove someone.

  91. Bona Fide says: May 7, 2010 1:09 AM

    This is ridiculous. It’s one thing to hold active players to a certain level of behavior standards, and it’s another thing entirely to punish GREAT players for things they did years after hanging up the cleats.
    Make no mistake about it – OJ Simpson and LT are two of the greatest players to ever take the field. Their [considerable] personal problems aside, they deserve to be in the HOF as much as anyone with or without a bust.
    That is why they belong: anything they did off the field is just that – off the field. The Hall of Fame commemorates and honors the best NFL players of all-time, on the basis of their achievements and contributions to the game of football.
    To bring anything besides football into the discussion of belonging in the HOF is stupid, bottom line.

  92. PackAttackBackMan says: May 7, 2010 1:18 AM

    Stupid Stupid Stupid………
    Calm down everyone……
    Everyone is so quick to judge, but all i detect is jealousy from a bunch of arm chair QBs. It seems like most of you guys want to see these successful people fall down……
    There is no way i am defending LT for getting whores in the middle of the night in some shady motel, but get a grip and look at the details. The accusers are a pimp and a prostitute, not exactly the most credible people.
    This whole case seems fishy…….

  93. TexansMike says: May 7, 2010 1:21 AM

    Let’see.
    Pete Rose cannot get in because he gambled, but RAPISTS AND MURDERES are allowed in Canton.
    What’s wrong with this picture????

  94. v4vagiants says: May 7, 2010 1:22 AM

    LT’s only facing 4 years? WTF? Rape may be worse than Murder..

  95. BigBear123 says: May 7, 2010 1:25 AM

    Can’t make a legitimate reason not to. It just takes enough people to provoke Goodell into drawing a line at convicted felons. Add a 3 strikes rule for repeat offenders. No reason to let a handful of players tarnish the shield.
    Does the NFL really need fliers put on car windshields during the HOF ceremonies or have to add extra security for award events due to a few individuals?
    NFL has decided to lead the way on concussions and it is trickling down to youth sports. Doing the same with criminal behavior could trickle down as well.
    Baseball is a joke due to unwritten rules, aside fromPete Rose, set clear standards – felony – and stick with them.

  96. TheHippo says: May 7, 2010 1:25 AM

    Second joneildu’s motion …. HOF is for what the players did on the field … leave the hand ringing angst to the baseball kvetches.

  97. HereThere says: May 7, 2010 1:27 AM

    Oh sure, Florio. After I draft Art Schlichter for my fantasy team, you come up with this idea. Thanks a lot!

  98. Packulak says: May 7, 2010 1:29 AM

    I think a mans contributions can be honored without being linked to future indiscretions. That being said, it would be nice to have hof’ers involved in a positive way in today’s league possibly reaching out to their teams communities. While l.t.’s behaviour isn’t good, im not sure there was any intent to harm other than getting a prostitute. The fact that she was in deep enough to have a pimp drop her off says that society has already turned it’s back on her. Lt should be in trouble but the pimp should be in much bigger trouble and that girl needs medical and psychiatric help. God help our nation.

  99. YumanBeing says: May 7, 2010 1:31 AM

    So much for the ‘real’ LT. What a scumbag.

  100. etc... says: May 7, 2010 1:32 AM

    Why is the baseball HoF a joke? Because you want Pete Rose to get in? I like the idea of a standard. It shouldn’t only be about padding stats on Sundays. If you tarnish the shield, you should be disowned. We’ll see what happens in baseball when the steroid stars come up for a vote.
    etc…

  101. Adam says: May 7, 2010 1:37 AM

    joneildu says:
    May 6, 2010 10:47 PM
    No, the baseball HoF tries to play this game and it’s the biggest joke of a HoF in sports.
    What that guy said.

  102. WCRaider says: May 7, 2010 1:37 AM

    No, they should not. Nor should they ban players who have committed crimes and served their time. You seem to be intentionally obtuse on this issue. If you have paid for your crime, you are supposed to be welcomed back into society and clear to pursue your life. If you don’t agree with this, then change the punishment for all crimes to death.

  103. Wyrdawg says: May 7, 2010 1:42 AM

    Can the NFL police the HoF?
    Is the HoF within the organizational structure of the NFL as it stands today? It seems to me they’re a subsidiary of the organization. Sure, the NFL lends their name and artifacts go to the museum, but are they governed by the NFL? It seems to me that the NFL really has no say (other than with a threat to remove their shield from the enterprise) on who is included into the lists. The selection process in itself seems to point to this as a by-product of the actual NFL.
    This museum was made as a tribute to the outstanding players of this sport. Let’s remember that “professional” football was viewed as something akin to professional wrestling in it’s time. College football ruled as “the” actual game. The players inducted were viewed more as brawlers than actual athletes. Hell, they had to be. There are plenty of books (and juicy conversations with former players) that applaud the less than savory exploits of these players. In fact, it was part of the crowd draw back in the day. Some newspapermen made their bones on these exploits and the practice continues today.
    With all those great stories are some pretty scary ones that we haven’t heard or read. Some of these players, who I assume are in the HoF, were just plain scary on and off the field. Imagine what type of motivation it took to support a family with a full time job, then come and bash someone’s head in on the weekend… as a “professional.” You can’t tell me that some of these guys weren’t the meanest SoB’s on the planet.
    There was no high tech padding or rules to protect players. There were NO HELMETS in those days (put that in your Ben R. dissertation). There’s no telling how many ax murderers were on rosters back then, or in the Hall now. I think the collective point of view was the meaner and nastier you were, the more respect you garnered. Hence, HoF player!
    Just from my own team, which has quite a few HoF’ers, I can tell you there were liars, cheats, cheap shot artists, adulterers, rum runners, mafia types, etc., etc. And their exploits are celebrated! If we had the “access” back then that we do today? I’m not sure we’d have a HoF… or even an NFL for that matter, with the possible exception of Tim Tebow.
    Yes, LT was outstanding for the sport. If memory serves me correctly, I think this “modern day” debate about off the field activities started with his inclusion into the Hall. But, how much different is he than the folks above? So, do we kick out the guys who were previously inducted, but also might have the same pattern of violence as in this instance? Or worse?
    With that said, our standards on what a professional is in this sport has changed. The individuals enshrined in the HoF are an anomaly to the message being conveyed by the commissioner today. Which is the crux. Have our standards changed? You bet. They need to.

  104. realitypolice says: May 7, 2010 1:45 AM

    You could have used that moment when you and your son stood before OJ’s bust as a teaching moment. You could have taught your son that pro athletes are not role models and shouldn’t be worshipped or admired for anything other than what they do on the field.
    I find it amusing and pathetic when people write “what should I tell my kids” when commenting on anything to do with pro sports:
    1) if you asking strangers how to raise your kids, maybe you shouldn’t have had any
    2) if you are asking this question, it means that you take sports way too seriously and instead of worrying what to say to your kids, you should be looking in the mirror and evaluating your own pathetic life
    Lastly, if you find yourself standing with your 4 year old kid in any of the lame ass backwater shanty towns that host pro sports halls of fame, you should apologize for not taking him to Disney World.

  105. Card Magnet says: May 7, 2010 1:46 AM

    If the player screws up after their career but before they are elected, it’s up to the votes to decide if their offense was enough to ban them. If they still get enough votes, then I say they’re in.
    Once they’re in and they do something dumb or seriously wrong, I say it’s too late.

  106. RedGoneWILD says: May 7, 2010 1:49 AM

    florio, you are such a weasel with weasel opinions

  107. j0hnny63 says: May 7, 2010 1:51 AM

    This would unnecessarily add a further element of subjectivity into an already overly subjective process. Stick to the stats, avoid unnecessary judgment calls, and give Ken Anderson his gold jacket.

  108. LoneWizard says: May 7, 2010 1:55 AM

    It has been my experience that the people that call for the harshest penalties when a strong man falls are usually the weakest and have the most to hide in their closets. Florio you have just proven my point. What are you hiding in your closet?

  109. ecko72kw says: May 7, 2010 1:58 AM

    Tell us how you really feel Florio. The HOF represent what a person has done on the feel not what type of person they are off the field. If we judge people based on their personal lives, we would no longer have a Congress or Senate.
    Lets keep it classy Florio b/c I could bet there is something in your life we all could point-out to be not so on the up & up. Lets keep things in context of what they are meant for.

  110. patpatriotagain says: May 7, 2010 2:04 AM

    joneilu – you wouldn’t happen to be a fan of one pete rose would you?
    It won’t ever happen, but it should. MLB hall of fame is a sacred place, but the nfl has always had a lower standard.

  111. JohnnyH says: May 7, 2010 2:04 AM

    Alex Karras isn’t in the HOF, but I guess I see how gambling on some football games is far worse than rape and murder. Roger Goodell has his hands full.

  112. redbeardxxv says: May 7, 2010 2:05 AM

    why don’t we ask Pete Rose what he thinks about this?

  113. Stone says: May 7, 2010 2:14 AM

    F@ck you, Florio. F@ck you on this one. Don’t take an alleged crime against a man that has zero history of abusing women and make it your crusade. F@ck you on this one. Let’s see in the coming days how many underage girls come forward or people with a bad word about LT come forward. My guess is none. This man is an alcoholic and a drug addict. He needs constant surveillance to avoid him hurting himself, not women. He was duped on this one. And who can tell the difference between a 16 and 18 year old girl? I guarantee you he was drunk at the time and possibly even blacked out. Its your problem if you’re holding up athletes as role models for your son. Athletes can be heroes, but if you aren’t teaching your son about the fallibility of man, then that’s your God Damn problem.

  114. downsouth49er says: May 7, 2010 2:15 AM

    You can’t ban former players for what they do after they are done playing, that is about the most ignorant thing someone could ever say. Why can’t people understand that such things as the HOF is about what the athelete did ON THE DAMN FIELD? Did he or she kill someone on the field? Did he or she rape someone on the field? Some of you in society are ready to ban them from the HOF based on stuff they did off the field, but you won’t ban or prohibit them from being in the HOF when they have admitted to taking steroids or some other performance enhancement WHILE PLAYING. That’s just crazy!!

  115. Johnnyb612 says: May 7, 2010 2:17 AM

    The NFL is the NFL. I don’t think any of their accomplishments should be taken away. Probably better for PR reasons that they do though. I think examples like L.T. Could be put to good use though. An example to new players coming into the league on how money and fame can make you forget your obligations and duties to the rest of society. I don’t think they should be banned from all league activity though. That is the last thing people like this need. On the other hand, how many strikes should one person get? It’s up to the individual to decide their legacy. If they want to be remembered for sexual assault or just being a complete dickhead who rapes (fat boy Ben), that that’s their problems. Let’s just let history judge them for what they were and not sweep every negative action under the rug (granted, this is as negative as it gets.) theirs more to the NFL than on the field accomplishments. It’s about being a role model as well. Obviously these two could be good examples of success turning a person into a bad role model and I don’t think that’s anything to ignore.

  116. jamesowen237 says: May 7, 2010 2:21 AM

    I respect your argument but totally disagree. The Hall of Fame is about on-field accomplishments. Pete Rose not being in Cooperstown makes his sport’s hallowed halls incomplete, and, frankly, a joke.
    It would completely suck if O.J. or L.T. weren’t in the hall. I’d quit caring about it altogether, really.

  117. Route36West says: May 7, 2010 2:25 AM

    Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.
    “Thats I Got to Say About That”

  118. johnthehillboy says: May 7, 2010 2:28 AM

    I’ve never been to the Hall of Fame.
    Taking him out wouldn’t mean dic to me, he’d still be LT.

  119. Mighty Quinn says: May 7, 2010 2:45 AM

    I agree with you Mike. I don’t think that pro sports have an obligation to produce “role models”, but they do have an obligation to not reward felons. If an individual is rewarded for being a part of the organization (HOF etc.) and they can’t abide by the law they need to be removed from that organization.

  120. ECS - Brougham Boys 74 says: May 7, 2010 2:47 AM

    For all the trash we talk about MLB, Pete Rose is NOT in the Hall of Fame. And not because he raped or murdered anybody. Dude was caught gambling.

  121. ThePitts says: May 7, 2010 2:49 AM

    OJ – LT / Pete Rose & Barry Bonds should all be enshrined in their respective Hall of Fame’s….for the ON-FIELD heroics they established during their careers…..that being said, if an * or an after thought were to be added to their legacy, I think it would only help children (and allow parents to explain) to understand that we’re all human…we make mistakes….but we MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEM….we all are fallible…and that life includes decisions that far out weigh our glory years.
    All 4 of these men have committed acts that society looks down upon, but they should still be revered for their accomplishments, and we should learn from their down falls and not try to forget them.

  122. Snowman2008 says: May 7, 2010 3:08 AM

    Ban History Florio? Doesn’t sound like my USA.
    How about if the HOF’s try full disclosure for a change instead of pretending to be the right upper cut of the Almighty?
    Give OJ and Pete Rose and LT their spots dedicated to on the field accomplishments. Include a brief but very obvious plaque with the HOF Committee’s formal condemnation of their off the field behavior.
    Then let the people decide whether to worship the man or not.

  123. SantonioH10 says: May 7, 2010 3:20 AM

    It’s a football hall of fame. For playing football. Not for having the nicest smile or doing the most charity work.

  124. Pinoy31AP says: May 7, 2010 3:34 AM

    mike vick will never be in the hof so that is irrelevant…

  125. checktheblock says: May 7, 2010 4:13 AM

    If a guy climbs Mt. Everest and then becomes a felon he has still climbed Mt. Everest.
    The object lesson should be that nobody is above the law but mistakes later in life can’t change earlier accomplishments. It’s a good lesson for kids; achievements are etched in stone but you are never above the law.

  126. millionwatts says: May 7, 2010 4:30 AM

    it’s the Pro Football HOF, not the “I’m a good guy and great citizen” HOF. anybody who suggests that the story of Pro Football should be told without mentioning LT or OJ is crazy.

  127. Ice-9 says: May 7, 2010 4:48 AM

    Only if we get to do it in Disney’s Hall of Presidents, too.

  128. La Milicia Negra says: May 7, 2010 5:02 AM

    Canton is not a church or a shrine, So if they got into thr HOF they should stay in the HOF… They are not chosen to the HOF because of how nice a person they are… they arte chosen because they are dang good players…
    No matter how many murders or rapes doesnt change that LT and OJ were some of the best Footballers at their position…

  129. DWat393 says: May 7, 2010 5:09 AM

    As a wise man once said, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    Seriously though, Florio, great article. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything you said (who’s surprised?), this is BY FAR the best article I’ve ever read on your site…and I’ve read one or two of them.
    I’m surprising myself by saying this — considering how critical of you I typically am — but keep up the good work. I hope a lot of important people in a lot of important positions read this. I wish I saw more of this kind of thing on PFT.

  130. Icantadd says: May 7, 2010 5:50 AM

    This is one of the times I agree 100% with you, Florio.
    I don’t think it would work any way except to make it a case-by-case sort of decision, only because you can’t flatly say “These crimes equal banishment and these crimes do not.” Equally, basing it off of arrests alone wouldn’t cover ALL things that reflect badly on the NFL, i.e. Roethlisberger.

  131. Boo Hoo Florio picked on your team - GET OVER IT says: May 7, 2010 6:15 AM

    I agree, Mike. Kick out the offenders. (And in MLB, keep on keeping that joke Pete Rose out of the HOF too.)
    Hall of Fame should be for men who are good role models that our kids can look up to. Period.

  132. Raiders757 says: May 7, 2010 6:20 AM

    If the league is going to let convicted felons play on the field, they’re surely not going to eject them from the HOF.

  133. Neko says: May 7, 2010 6:26 AM

    These aren’t “Hall of Famers.” They are “Hall of Infamers.” How could anybody justify them being in there?

  134. Hillbilly Jim says: May 7, 2010 6:33 AM

    This is kind of a gray area here. Yeah I’ve made mistakes, I got too drunk one night and drove home and got caught… I’ve never ever raped anyone or killed people. I know everybody makes mistakes, for all I know the church is the only place that gives unconditional forgiveness. I think Florio is right, you don’t have to be an angel to be in the HOF but certain decent human behavior should be expected when you recieve an honor such as going to Canton.

  135. PurpleNGold says: May 7, 2010 6:37 AM

    Accomplishments on the field are unrelated to later actions. If LT had written a book, would we now collect copies and burn them?
    Tarnish the shield? Contrast his actions with the crimes against innocent civilians perpetrated by those in our previous administration and continued by those in our current administration. One million dead in Iraq, and the hits just keep on coming. As a nation, we tarnish our flag daily.

  136. texline says: May 7, 2010 6:53 AM

    Tarnish the shield? These players are, for the most part, gutter garbage. There is no shield to tarnish. Don’t try to make these overpaid babies out to be super heroes. If your kid has a professional athlete as a role model, then you suck as a parent. Grow up!!!!

  137. P-Slice says: May 7, 2010 6:56 AM

    LT should of never made it in there to begin with. He was on cocaine during his Giants career. Anyone on coke as much as he was could run through a brick wall. He is and always has been a joke. He is no example, there is nothing great about him. He is a dirty drug addict who played football at a high level and the high level can be contributed in part to his drug use. Cocaine is far worse than steroids. Kick him out of the HOF.

  138. twinsanity says: May 7, 2010 6:59 AM

    The moralizing in sports needs to end once and for all. This doesn’t tarnish the shield one bit and the hysteria about protecting the NFL’s image is so overblown it’s sad.

  139. thunderpants14 says: May 7, 2010 7:13 AM

    The NFL may have put the players in this position what with the concussions and frontal lobe damage sustained during their careers.
    Marino should not be sharing the hall with these scum….but he has shared a football field.
    I’m still sitting on the fence.

  140. Howboutdemcowboys says: May 7, 2010 7:15 AM

    Hey, the NFL is only fielding about 20 teams a year worth a shit. If you take out all the scum bags you’ll be down to about 12 teams. Then we would have to cut out the regular season and just start in the playoffs. (That would lose some serious revenue, which is the bottom line in this league.) The good news is if the Lions make the cut they will finally make the playoffs again!!!!
    Talent is too thin. Let’s go the other route with this, we can scour the prisons to get more players up in here. What? the Bengals, Eagles, and Steelers already do?

  141. irishsamurai says: May 7, 2010 7:16 AM

    the players are in the hall of fame for reasons on the field,when you and your kids pass the busts in the hall,that seems a good time to explain right and wrong[if you feel the need],why shy away from any point that you can explain to kids what certain bad decsions can do to you,example,hey here is a bust of OJ simpson,he was a great player,but he made very bad choices in life,he is now in prison,and so on,and so on,i find it crazy that we in this country feel the need to hide and shield kids from bad stuff,i know the reason i never went to prison,is cause when i was a kid,my mother explained to me how bad prison was and how doing stupid thhings would land you in jail

  142. famucancer says: May 7, 2010 7:24 AM

    Where’s Deb to defend LT as staunchly as she did Big Ben?

  143. HawgNSonsTV2 says: May 7, 2010 7:26 AM

    Florio … It’s that LAWYER in YOU that wants to control all the time!
    “As government expands, liberty contracts”
    “As government expands, the liberty of every one of us contracts” Ronald Wilson Reagan

  144. FireJerryJones says: May 7, 2010 7:30 AM

    Why don’t they just provide them with ‘accredited’ hookers while they’re at it?
    Cafeteria food is free… so is access to personal trainer and dietician. Just another team service with a happy ending.

  145. HgMeng says: May 7, 2010 7:30 AM

    howboutdemcowgirls,
    you forgot your own team.
    florio,
    i think we should take away press passes from gossip bloggers

  146. Tompadre says: May 7, 2010 7:37 AM

    So how long exactly does a FORMER employer own you?

  147. .RebaTe says: May 7, 2010 7:47 AM

    # PotheadCancer says: May 6, 2010 11:33 PM
    “The HOF has nothing to do with a player’s personal life. What don’t y’all understand about that? Jeez!!”
    So… you’d have no trouble inducting Osama BinLaden into the HOF just as long as he had the stats, right?

  148. SteelTowner says: May 7, 2010 7:50 AM

    Someone should ban you for writing garbage over and over

  149. djruetune says: May 7, 2010 7:54 AM

    Two words: Mark Bavaro

  150. RedGoneWILD says: May 7, 2010 8:00 AM

    Florio, you are a clown!

  151. ShootahCowboy says: May 7, 2010 8:02 AM

    Ok, then where do you stop?
    You have the obvious in LT and OJ. Is it only the convicted? What level of crime would prevent someone from entering the HOF?
    No, leave it the way it is.

  152. Howboutdemcowboys says: May 7, 2010 8:09 AM

    HgMeng says:
    May 7, 2010 7:30 AM
    howboutdemcowgirls,
    you forgot your own team.
    florio,
    i think we should take away press passes from gossip bloggers
    _________________________________
    Name one current player on the cowboys that has been accused of a felony????

  153. MikeT says: May 7, 2010 8:10 AM

    While I think I agree with this in principal, the only problem I see is that your off the field “good” actions are not taken into account when selection for the HoF is considered. So to be fair, if you are going to rule or knock someone out because of their off-the-field conduct, you should likewise give consideration to the average-to-good players that have exemplary off-the-field conduct.

  154. useyourfeet says: May 7, 2010 8:18 AM

    This story is related to the idea that LT is guilty. The story is unfair for that reason.

  155. useyourfeet says: May 7, 2010 8:18 AM

    This story is related to the idea that LT is guilty. The story is unfair for that reason.

  156. BenRoethlisburger says: May 7, 2010 8:22 AM

    # famucancer says: May 7, 2010 7:24 AM
    “Where’s Deb to defend LT as staunchly as she did Big Ben?”
    Don’t be an idiot… although that may be a foregone conclusion.
    LT did it.
    Ben did not.

  157. dietrich43 says: May 7, 2010 8:22 AM

    I say leave them in the HoF, but I’d have no problem with the NFL reducing and/or eliminating pension benefits due to off the field problems.

  158. favrecansuckit says: May 7, 2010 8:22 AM

    bobinpuertorico says:
    May 6, 2010 11:06 PM
    Former players who embarrass the NFL should not only be thrown out of the Hall of Fame, but the fact that they ever played for the league and all of their career statistics should be expunged from official NFL records.
    More importantly, current players who commit felonies (even if not actually convicted) like Mike Vick and Ben Rapistberger should be banned from ever playing in the league and their past accomplishments should be expunged from league records.
    ——————————————————–
    So you want to keep players in the HOF, but remove the statistics/records that got them there?! WTF. Should their plaque be changed to say “O.J. Simpson was really good, trust us”? And ban players who are accused but NOT CONVICTED of felonies?! You are a f#cking idiot.

  159. john baker says: May 7, 2010 8:23 AM

    The Hall of Fame is a sham anyway. Look at who votes for it, good-for-nothing sports writers who have their own interests at heart. What do these sports writers know about what it really takes to play the game? All they know how to do is follow around athletes and beg them for stories. They are like lap dogs to these athletes. It’s shameful to watch.

  160. gs7101 says: May 7, 2010 8:26 AM

    No, Taylor should not be removed from the Hall of Fame. He was enshrined for his accomplishments on the football field. Regardless of Taylor’s overall stupidity, no one can dispute he had a hall of fame career.

  161. Patrick says: May 7, 2010 8:29 AM

    Yeah sure, make it more like the baseball hall of crap…Dumb idea for N.F.L…good for clicks here though

  162. chknbn says: May 7, 2010 8:33 AM

    I can’t wait for an “If the rubber don’t fit, you must acquit” argument?

  163. BigBear123 says: May 7, 2010 8:43 AM

    Florio doesn’t want it based on morals issues, he says base it on criminal felony conviction. Clear and concise.
    Rose would be in OJ would not. OJ committed another felony, armed robbery, which got him in the jail cell he sits in now.

  164. favrecansuckit says: May 7, 2010 8:46 AM

    How many of your kids looked up to LT before these accusations? Or saw him play? Or knew who he was? My guess is zero, because they’re kids. He wasn’t their hero. Neither was O.J. Get off your high horses, they’re HOF PLAYERS!

  165. Lucky5927 says: May 7, 2010 8:51 AM

    I am curious… how can the NFL “Ban” a former player from the NFL? Outside of being a coach or front office worker, I assume that most retired players are living off the fumes of their career outside of the sport.

  166. el_dude00 says: May 7, 2010 8:54 AM

    I don’t get this. What’s wrong with just turning to your son and saying “Yeah, he got in the HOF, but he turned out to bad a sad individual. Let’s go look at the Jim Brown one again.”
    I don’t need a body of people to tell me how to judge a player’s career and or life choices. Their job is to select the best in their sport and honor them.
    My job would be to read between the lines.

  167. The Real Shuxion says: May 7, 2010 8:55 AM

    The league should be more concerned about current players tarnishing the shield.

  168. ray says: May 7, 2010 8:57 AM

    Take your child to the hall of fame an tell him or her its ok to be a murderer or a rapist

  169. IndyColt45 says: May 7, 2010 8:59 AM

    You’re = You are
    Your = Possessive
    Read and learn, PFT readers.

  170. DieHardSkinsFan21 says: May 7, 2010 9:22 AM

    # Stone says: May 7, 2010 2:14 AM
    F@ck you, Florio. F@ck you on this one. Don’t take an alleged crime against a man that has zero history of abusing women and make it your crusade. F@ck you on this one. Let’s see in the coming days how many underage girls come forward or people with a bad word about LT come forward. My guess is none. This man is an alcoholic and a drug addict. He needs constant surveillance to avoid him hurting himself, not women. He was duped on this one. And who can tell the difference between a 16 and 18 year old girl? I guarantee you he was drunk at the time and possibly even blacked out. Its your problem if you’re holding up athletes as role models for your son. Athletes can be heroes, but if you aren’t teaching your son about the fallibility of man, then that’s your God Damn problem.
    _______________________________________
    @ Stone
    Sounds like you are one hell of a role model. I hope you have to go door to door and introduce yourself to ALL of your neighbors. Anyone who would write something as ignorant as this belongs in the same jail cell as LT and OJ. You must be a real piece of work. Justifying the “rape” of a 16 year old by saying who can tell the difference???? If that was your daughter would you utter the same sentiment? I guess you have no heart or you are some punk kid who has no idea what you are speaking of. If the latter is the case I give you a pass, but if you are an adult you may want to seek counseling. Just a thought.
    HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!!

  171. ChrisD says: May 7, 2010 9:31 AM

    First and foremost, people should remember that the HoF is a museum… People are enshrined. This doesn’t change the record books.
    There should be nothing wrong with taking a bust down.

  172. shiftyshellshocked says: May 7, 2010 9:34 AM

    Hey son there’s O.J. he killed his wife and another guy in cold blood and got away with it. Oh… But now he’s serving 10 years for robbery. Oh… and there’s Lawrence Taylor, he raped a 16 year old run away.
    Do these convicts really belong on the wall of the Hall of Fame??? Pete Rose is banned for way less! COME ON!! To many bleeding hearts on this page. Kick their a**es out & keep the integrity of the Hall of Fame intact. Skol.

  173. jimicos says: May 7, 2010 9:41 AM

    Typical shit-stirring by Florio. Slow news day? Drum up a stupid piece that will inflame the masses.

  174. stanjam says: May 7, 2010 10:29 AM

    OJ? Really? He was acquitted of any criminal charges. Do you know why? Because the police investigation was bad at best, and negligent at worst.
    I attended a seminar given by a famous forensics scientist and investigator who was invited to the case. He was shocked at the level of incompetence when it came to collecting evidence. There was simply no way to convict anyone, and what WAS there pointed to OJ being more innocent than guilty.
    The woman’s body was cleaned before any evidence could be taken, although from pictures there was clear evidence that someone was standing over her, and bled onto her. For some reason they also cleaned under her nails, so no evidence there either. Why would the police do that?
    Also there was ample evidence that there was more than one attacker. The guy who was killed struggled with his attacker, and yet the woman made no attempt to flee. There was more, but I forget it all now. There was a lot that indicated that OJ was likely not the killer.
    Yet we should get him out of the hall? Nice. Next we are going to be agreeing with Brown and Lieberman that we should strip citizenship from people because the state department doesn’t like their associations.

  175. .Vox Veritas. says: May 7, 2010 10:30 AM

    “And, pray tell, what are you gonna say if LT is not guilty?”
    That he was found not guilty of rape. Not only does that not mean that it didn’t happen, it has nothing whatsoever to do with his other “troubles” like multiple crack busts and the deadbeat dad thing.

  176. The Real Shuxion says: May 7, 2010 10:35 AM

    # IndyColt45 says: May 7, 2010 8:59 AM
    You’re = You are
    Your = Possessive
    Read and learn, PFT readers.
    —————————————————–
    That lesson is WAY to advanced for PFT planet.

  177. olcap says: May 7, 2010 10:40 AM

    You really should be barred from ever practicing law again, as you repeatedly exhibit a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality in cases of athletes being accused of crimes, when, more often than not, it’s a case of someone looking for a quick payday. Then again, lawyers ARE, after all, very high on the smarminess list.

  178. Frank Burns says: May 7, 2010 10:44 AM

    I think PFT should ban posters like ampats, who tarnish the message boards with their sheer hypocrisy. (Same with that ambientnoise guy.)
    Ampats screamed when Roethlisberger merely got accused of sex assault, then claimed it had nothing to do with his Steeler hatred; meanwhile, he forgot all about his daughters and his outrage when his hero LT got busted. If that isn’t the biggest disgrace to PFT ever, I don’t know what is.
    Sorry ampats, the only place now you’ll be delivering your speech is the Hypocrites Hall of Fame.

  179. RedMan says: May 7, 2010 11:10 AM

    You white guys just can’t get over OJ. lmfao.
    He was found NOT GUILTY. Get over it. Kinda like you are always saying about Slavery. So take y our won advice – get the frick over it. Or does it hurt you too much?
    I trust you have the same level of indignation and outrage over the hundreds of thousands of times that you perceive white guys got away with murdering black people. Right?
    Or does your biased pendulum of justice on swing one way?

  180. realitypolice says: May 7, 2010 11:19 AM

    olcap says:
    May 7, 2010 10:40 AM
    You really should be barred from ever practicing law again, as you repeatedly exhibit a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality in cases of athletes being accused of crimes, when, more often than not, it’s a case of someone looking for a quick payday. Then again, lawyers ARE, after all, very high on the smarminess list.
    ===============
    Dude called you smarmy. You gonna take that?

  181. realitypolice says: May 7, 2010 11:45 AM

    RedMan says:
    May 7, 2010 11:10 AM
    I trust you have the same level of indignation and outrage over the hundreds of thousands of times that you perceive white guys got away with murdering black people. Right?
    ==================================
    I am very outraged when anyone, like OJ, gets away with killing anyone. I am shocked to hear the fact that white people have gotten away with killing black people “hundreds of thousands” of time. You seem pretty sure of your facts, so you should have no trouble naming the specifics of, say, 25 times this happened. 25 is a pretty small sample versus “hundreds of thousands”, so it you should be able to do it off the top of your head.
    Right? Well, go ahead then, we’ll wait.

  182. Bob Nelson says: May 7, 2010 12:03 PM

    There is always some commentor that claims racism because most of the races do not like crime.

  183. jimicos says: May 7, 2010 12:14 PM

    Is OJ still looking for the real killer? I think he’s got the golf courses covered now. Maybe he should progress to tennis courts.

  184. NightTrainNeckTie says: May 7, 2010 2:53 PM

    I love all of the outrage. Sad thing is, guys like LT and Michael Irvin worked harder and over came a lot more on their path to wealth, fame and athletic championship glory then any of the people who have time in their day to post on this site. That list includes Florio and the other guy with 7 Gs in his name. It just pisses you people off that these guys are apparently “throwing it all away” when in fact they are just reaping the benefits our society extends to them.

  185. Deb says: May 7, 2010 2:53 PM

    @Stella Big Blue ….
    Why don’t you take some of the energy you’re spending on that righteous indignation and spend it doing a little research? There’s a reason no criminal charges have been brought against Roethlisberger. He was never even arrested–which is not something Taylor can say.
    The Nevada court has on file text messages from the accuser sent after the “rape” in which she brags about wanting to see Roethlisberger again. That’s just one example of the evidence showing she fabricated her rape story.
    The medical exam found that the Georgia accuser had not engaged in intercourse. What’s more, mutiple witnesses stated that she’d followed Roethlisberger from bar to bar, drinking on her own volition, and engaging in MUTUAL sexual conduct with him. But since they did not have intercourse, the issue of consent is irrelevant.
    Roethlisberger may be classless but he is not a rapist.
    Taylor is entitled to due process. He says he did not have sex with the prostitute, and if true, he is an innocent man. But any way you look at it, a pimp delivered a just-turned-16-year-old girl who had been beaten about the face to a hotel room to sell her to a 51-year-old man. Any way you look at it, that is significantly more disgusting than a 28-year-old jackass cavorting with willing bimbos.
    Next time do your homework before commenting.

  186. Deb says: May 7, 2010 2:54 PM

    famucancer says:
    Where’s Deb to defend LT as staunchly as she did Big Ben?
    ———————————————–
    Well, dingdong, I was right there saying that LT is entitled to due process and is innocent until proved guilty. In this case, there is only ONE possible legal defense to the charge: The defense is that he didn’t have sex with her. Consent does not matter. That she is a prostitute does not matter. That he didn’t know her age does not matter. She is under the age of consent. Regardless of the circumstances, if he had sex with her, in the eyes of the law he is guilty of what is commonly called statutory rape.
    If you are looking for sympathy from me, forget it. He knows it’s illegal to hire prostitutes. When the pimp delivered her to the door, he may not have known her age, but he knew she was young. He knew she’d been beaten because the cops said he was anxious for them to know he wasn’t the one who hit her.
    Only an idiot would continue with the transaction after seeing a young hooker who’d been beaten up. He could afford something less potentially problematic. If he did not have sex with her, his only problem is soliciting a prostitute. If he did have sex with her, it’s rape. That’s the law. I will wait to see what the evidence shows–as I did with Roethlisberger. But as with Roethlisberger, I already think he’s a jackass.

  187. FreeAgentPro says: May 7, 2010 8:47 PM

    “The medical exam found that the Georgia accuser had not engaged in intercourse”
    Link?

  188. jerryjonesftw says: May 7, 2010 9:42 PM

    Who cares? The Hall of Fame status is given to those athletes who had outstanding professional careers. You can’t take away the fact of how great they were just by removing them from the Hall of Fame… and it’s not like people will forget them, either. The Hall of Fame doesn’t and shouldn’t involve any personal, irrelevant issues outside of the field where the player made his name.

  189. Deb says: May 7, 2010 10:19 PM

    @FreeAgentPro …
    I’m going by the DA’s comments. You are welcome to devote the same 71 minutes I did to listening to his press conference:
    http://kdka.com/video/?id=71073@kdka.dayport.com
    He said the vaginal exam showed a “superficial laceration, bruising, and slight bleeding” in the genital area. The doctor could not say if these were or were not caused by sexual assault. All could have been caused by assault, consensual sex, or hand manipulation by Roethlisberger or by sex previous to her encounter with Roethlisberger. When asked if the accuser had sex with anyone else that day, the DA refused to comment, citing her medical privacy.
    The reason I said the exam showed she had not engaged in intercourse is because the rape kit “found no evidence of semen or discharge.” The GBI did find a speck of DNA determined to be male on one of the swabs taken during the exam. (Since several bozos don’t know the difference) DNA is the genetic substance found in most living things. Semen is the thick, white liquid ejaculated by men during sex. They are not synonymous. Semen is not DNA; semen contains DNA. So does blood, skin, hair, urine, saliva, etc. They did not find semen. Only a tiny speck of DNA is needed to determine identity. The speck of DNA found on the swab was so infinitesimal it could not be tested. Since there was no semen and no evidence of a condom, the exam seems to indicate there was no intercourse. My speculation is they were fooling around , he was using his hands, and for whatever reason, they failed to proceed. Witnesses say she was out of sight only 10 minutes.
    Since the allegation was vaginal rape, absence of intercourse would mean the allegation wasn’t true. The DA said there was plenty of blame to go around to both of them. Those aren’t the words of a prosecutor who thinks a rapist is getting away for lack of evidence.
    I’m not defending Ben. He’s a classless dog. But the behavior of the accuser and her sorority sisters seems to have been equally grotesque.

  190. RG Earl says: May 8, 2010 8:54 AM

    Neither penetration nor consummation of the sex act is required for it to be attempted rape. The issue really is was there enough evidence to convict? The case being dropped does not mean he was innocent. It means not enough evidence was availbable to convice.
    Big Ben got off easy. A tribute to being wealthy and white.
    That was somewhat off the original subject though.
    In response to the original question, a set of morals should be required for initial admission and continued membership of the Hall of Fame.
    Otherwise what message are we sending to future players? That it is ok to be a thug as long as you can carry a ball?
    Let us try to re-install a sense of values in at least a small segment of society. Perhaps if we can win the small battles the larger war will have some victories as well.

  191. RG Earl says: May 8, 2010 9:09 AM

    From the hall of fame’s website regarding the mission statement.
    http://www.profootballhof.com/hall/missionstatement.aspx
    “To promote the positive values of the sport”
    How can they achieve their mission statement if they allow criminals admission or continue to glorify individuals who later commit crimes?

  192. Deb says: May 8, 2010 12:47 PM

    @RG Earl …
    First, the accusation was vaginal rape, not attempted rape. The DA made clear that was the allegation and that’s the crime they were investigating. That’s what the woman said in her statement. Penetration IS the definition of vaginal rape. So if there was no penetration, there was no rape. The crime being alleged did not occur. It doesn’t make Roethlisberger a prince or improve his morals. It simply means he didn’t do the crime.
    Second, in the United States, you are innocent until proved guilty. So if there’s not enough evidence to prove you guilty, you ARE innocent.
    Third, I have a close friend who’s a prosecutor in that office. Ben’s race and financial status didn’t have anything to do with it. The case was thoroughly investigated by the state police and their handling of it has been praised by legal experts. Did you want them to manufacture evidence against him just because he is rich and white?
    Fact-checking. It’s a beautiful thing.

  193. PhilipTortora says: May 8, 2010 4:13 PM

    LT has willingly submerged himself into a sub-human existence, where he will no longer get a pass from those who idolized his football heroics.
    If Taylor is found guilty of raping a teen girl, it’s time to lock him up, throw away the key and forget about him once and for all.
    http://philiptortora.blogspot.com/2010/05/lawrence-taylor-has-run-out-of-passes.html

  194. RG Earl says: May 9, 2010 5:45 AM

    @deb, true statements.. my apologies.

  195. Bob says: May 9, 2010 9:42 AM

    How can anyone compare what Lawrence Taylor did to what O J Simpson did? If going to hooker is a removable offense then you would have to banish at least half of the HOF. O J slaughtered two innocent people. Stop comparing him to a guy buying a hooker.

  196. Deb says: May 9, 2010 2:02 PM

    @RG Earl …
    Thank you for your gracious response. It’s a rarity on PFT.

  197. RG Earl says: May 9, 2010 2:24 PM

    It isn’t the going to a hooker issue Bob.. it is the time and again brushes with the law.
    And the larger issue this time is the statutory rape charge.

  198. Bu-Tang Clan says: May 20, 2010 12:47 PM

    Honestly I think Goodell is on this righteous crusade and he’s probably as dirty and corrupt as all the players in the NFL. The HOF should be for on field performances and the NFL’s HOF is the only HOF that people care about, the other sports are a joke. Leave the HOF as is, it’s not the HOF fault that NFL allows thugs and hoodlums to play, who else are we going to put in the HOF? Tebow because he’s a positive role model but will never make it in the NFL? Buahahaha!

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