On Thursday, the sometimes quirky (but always entertaining) Chris Kluwe said that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma should be banned for life as punishment for offering $10,000 to whoever knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game. Many shrugged and/or laughed at Kluwe’s take because he’s a punter.
It’s time to stop shrugging and/or laughing. Vikings center John Sullivan agrees with Kluwe.
On Friday, Sullivan sounded off on the subject with Paul Charchian of KFAN.
“If you want to offer money to knock someone out of a game on a clean hit, fine,” Sullivan said. (Actually, it’s not fine. But he’s going somewhere with this.) “The guys that went after it in the wrong way, that’s the exact opposite of sportsmanship. It’s just disgusting. To think that you’re going to take money to hit someone illegally and put them out of the game, I can’t even fathom that somebody would do that.
“So I’ve got to be honest, I support Kluwe in saying that I think Vilma should be banned. And I really think that, if you go back and look at that game, anybody that took a shot on Brett illegally and you can see with the intention of trying to injure him — and the big two that come to mind [Darren] Sharper and Bobby McCray — they’ve got to do something to those guys, too, whether it’s no Hall of Fame, whether it’s you’re not allowed to be associated with the NFL anymore.
“I have a hard time talking about it, because it disgusts me that you would go out there and try to take away someone’s livelihood. It’s just — it’s gross.”
Sullivan also touched on the reality that, no matter what happens now, the fact that the Saints parlayed the bounty system into a championship served its ultimate goal of winning the ultimate prize. “Now you’ve got a Super Bowl ring . . . because you took out the other team’s quarterback in a way that’s just despicable,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he still can’t go back and watch the game, but that he recalls Brett being hit in the mouth after handing the ball off. “A lot of the hits on Brett were illegal,” Sullivan said. “So what are you supposed to do to prevent those? That’s not our job, that’s the officiating crew’s job.”
Now that some Vikings are talking about what happened back in January 2010, don’t be surprised if more voices join in.