Irsay situation could spark more compassion for players who need help


As the notion that owners should be held to a higher standard than players for situations arising away from the gridiron, the increasing pressure on the NFL to take action against Colts owner Jim Irsay could actually help the players over the long run.

The league apparently won’t be issuing discipline against Irsay until his legal situation is resolved.  Even then, the league’s hands could be tied by rules that put the maximum fine at $500,000.  (That rule didn’t help Saints coach Sean Payton, who lost more than $5 million when he was suspended for a year.)

If/when (when) the NFL finds a way to not punish Irsay based on the idea that he needs help for apparent issues with chemical dependency, perhaps that will cause the NFL to apply a greater degree of understanding for players with similar issues.  If owners merit special understanding when it comes to the disease of addiction, players do, too.

Regardless of how it all plays out, treating the owners the same way as players may no longer be good enough, and a culture of punishment could yield to compassion if/when (when) Commissioner Roger Goodell decides not to punish one of the league’s owners.

19 responses to “Irsay situation could spark more compassion for players who need help

  1. I think irsay’s name gets brought up so it will get a ton of comments and then you can delete the ones that you don’t like. Irsay’s situation is absolutely different from anything the players do. The man owns an NFL franchise. He signs off on the paychecks that pay players, coaches, and team staff in general tens of millions of dollars every year. Yes he screwed up. Everyone does. And I get people are angry he hasn’t been punished yet but what about ray rice? There’s video of him knocking his wife out. HIS WIFE. And nothing has been done about yet.

  2. Isray is a billionaire junkie who ran for treatment once he was ccaught. His story will be is that he was was treated for his “addiction.”

    Players get caught, they are labeled as drug “addicts” who get 6 games suspensions!

  3. There’s no way to know if leniency for Irsay would set a precedent or just be a double standard, at least until the next player gets busted for a drug violation.

    Here’s the real story: Goodell is going to put on a show of compassion for Irsay to try to convince the NFLPA – through the vehicle of public opinion – that he is reasonable and there is no need for independent arbitration. Not that it will work, but you’re naive if you think he is not working that angle at some level.

  4. There needs to be an unbiased or fair representative at play between the players union and owners representative. Don’t know what that would look like or exactly how it would work but there is obvious conflicts of interest.

    Why doesn’t Roger discipline the players as a representative of the owners and league and then allow D. Smith discipline the owners as a representative of the players as well as the league? Letting Roger have sole authority is a design that allows dictatorship tendencies.

  5. “Compassion” is a word that is not in the vocabulary
    of Roger Goodell or the majority if posters to this site.

  6. Wasn’t indys robert mathis just suspended a couple games for using banned substance? that didnt take long to rule. But Irsays is going to be dragged out for months it seems. Way to lead by example Jim.

  7. I think a suspension is in order for a number of games at the start of the season. It would be good for an owner to have an “NFL Fan Experience” at a sports bar or at someone’s home rather than the owners box in a stadium. Hey maybe he can hangout with Robert Mathis since he will be suspended also 😉

  8. Jim has a firm of attorneys negotiating the tough but fair penalty with the NFL to ensure continued protection of the shield. As a billionaire, Jim has a constitutional right to buy his way out of this and he shouldn’t have to disclose any details (poor boring sober people wouldn’t understand).
    Nothing to see here. The NFL needs to focus on the big 4 issues that matter most to Roger:
    – TV ratings from moving the Draft to Vegas in late May and extending it over 7 nights,
    – Donald Trump’s bid to keep the Bills in Buffalo (can he build a casino and golf course next to the Ralph) vs Jon Bon Jovi’s bid to move them to Toronto,
    – Michael Sam
    – A London based NFL team to globalize the shield.

  9. I think the headline should be: “Goodell’s Exposure As A Hypocrite In His Treatment Of Irsay Is Bound To Benefit Players He Treats As Second Class Citizens”

  10. OR.. players can use his treatment to try to justify how they’re treated less leniently in lawsuits/appeals.

    Personally, I think players need to be held to a higher standard because when was the last time a child said “I wanna be like Irsay!”??

    Owners aren’t role-models. Players are. Different situations = different standards. Simple

  11. I don’t get it what does an addicted owner who was born with the proverbial silver spoon have to do with how players are disciplined for breaking the rules. Is there a rule that says an owner cant be an alcoholic or a recreational drug abuser ? I have never heard of this rule. I think were comparing apples to oranges.

  12. The players are required to abide by the rules and watch what they consume in terms of anything and everything.

    Owners are not.

    Owners are not tested.

    But yes, owners should be held to a higher standard.

    Top bottom

  13. I say owners and executives should have mandatory drug testing too. Why is the enlisted man held to a higher standard than the officer?

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