Jonathan Kraft: Goodell believes respecting “the shield” starts with owners

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As the status of Colts owner Jim Irsay continues to be unresolved, and as league observers continue to wonder whether Irsay will be held to a different standard (lower or higher) than players, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft has shared a perspective that suggests the league ultimately will impose significant discipline on Irsay for his arrest on multiple charges of operating a vehicle while impaired.

“I can tell you that since Roger Goodell became commissioner, the first thing Roger said to the room after he had gotten elected was that the NFL shield is the heart of our organization, and that all of us have the responsibility not to besmirch it, and that starts with the owners,” Kraft said Thursday at an event in Boston, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.  “If you don’t carry yourself in a way and represent your business in a way that the public as a whole would deem as appropriate, there are going to be issues that affect your fellow partners.  And that’s where I think these commissioners really do have a responsibility to make sure that the collective good is being maintained.”

While a suspension of Irsay before his legal case is resolved would constitute holding him to a higher standard in two ways (discipline prior to adjudication and suspension for a first offense), the deeper questions relate to whether the NFL will fashion a financial penalty that simulates the percentage of annual revenue taken from a player who engages in similar behavior and whether Irsay will be subjected going forward to the same type of aggressive testing that eventually results in a player being banished from the league, even if his use of prohibited substance is the result of what Irsay recently has called the disease of addiction.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello recently declined to state whether Irsay will be placed into the substance-abuse program, which covers only players, saying only that “[w]e ensure that all club personnel involved in substance-related incidents receive appropriate clinical care.”

Appropriate clinical care is one thing. Placement of the proverbial Sword of Damocles over the head of someone suffering from addiction is another. Players in the program deal with the reality that, eventually, one false move results in a minimum banishment of one year. If the NFL is going to continue to apply that standard to players, it must be applied to owners.

Or maybe the league should just quit applying that standard to players.

23 responses to “Jonathan Kraft: Goodell believes respecting “the shield” starts with owners

  1. Goodell is an idiot. He will screw it up and then play 5 games in London and then play the superbowl there to top it off.

  2. When you have billions you literally don’t have to worry about anything. Some people say being born into billions isn’t an achievement but I would love to have been born into money.

  3. Goodell is an absurdly overpaid flack for the owners and their financial ambitions, nothing more and nothing less. This is why is spends a good deal of time scheming to sell more the idea of more games to a public and players who do not want more games.

  4. While a suspension of Irsay before his legal case is resolved would constitute holding him to a higher standard in two ways (discipline prior to adjudication and suspension for a first offense)
    Sans Big Ben

  5. “Respecting the Shield” is a much repeated slogan for doing absolutely anything to maximize profits to owners.
    Avoiding making a decision that won’t sit well with Jim Irsay by definition constitutes “respecting the Shield”.
    Roger earned his $44M salary last year. Jim better throw him a much bigger bonus for his inaction this year. Billionaires can do that.

  6. The interesting thing that he said is that it is a disease like any other…chemical dependency is protected under disability laws and you cannot/should not lose your job for it. His lawyers have already positioned his case, just wait for the hammer to drop.

  7. Wow, if I was running the undisputed cheating champion, I’d keep my mouth shut.

  8. Goodwill is a politician, a highly – paid figurehead who walks & talks & pressers better than many of our so- called “leaders” in Washington.

    He will say and do the “right” thing for his bosses, not the “fair” thing that so many blissfully ignorant fans and observers of the League think should happen.

  9. I am both a recovering addict & alcoholic & I fully prescribe to the belief that it is a disease. Addiction & alcoholism are both deadly diseases that are progressive, potentially deadly, but can be put into remission with treatment. It is the same as someone having cancer. While the treatment for cancer is radiation & chemotherapy, the treatment for addiction & alcoholism is abstinence, along with a 12-step based program. Just like cancer, the disease of addiction & alcoholism will never be completely cured, it will go into remission, and if one does not complete his or her treatment, it will pop back up ten-fold. However, I do not believe the disease aspect of addiction & alcoholism is a crutch, not do I believe that it should be used as an attempt to skirt accountability for actions one may undertake. To understand this, the reader must understand there is a big difference between responsibility & accountability. Responsibility is the reason(s) why a person may do a certain action. Accountability is where regardless of the reason, the person should face consequences for his or her actions. In the case of Irsay, his disease is responsible for the action of him driving under the influence of drugs. To a normal person it doesn’t make sense; they would say, “Just don’t do it.” That doesn’t happen with an addict. An addict is only concerned with the getting & the using to the next high; everything else comes second. As such, I firmly believe that Irsay’s addiction is completely responsible for his actions on the night he was arrested. Nevertheless, disease or not, Irsay should be held accountable for those actions. Just because someone suffers from addiction/alcoholism, it doesn’t mean that person is devoid of being held accountable for his or her actions. If it were that simple, jails would be virtually empty because the large majority of inmates in US prisons – approx. 75% – suffer from addiction/alcoholism & that disease is responsible for the actions that led them to jail. While being held accountable, the punishment should be on par with what he has done since his arrest. Irsay sought help & successfully completed treatment. He did what he was supposed to do & that should be taken into consideration when Goodell dishes out his punishment. He shouldn’t skate all sanctions, but he shouldn’t be punished like Donald Sterling, either. I also believe that this should go for players, too. If they suffer from addiction/alcoholism & seek treatment, they should be shown leniency when facing a punishment from the NFL. Every criminal court across the country shows leniency for addicts whose crimes are a result of their addiction when they seek & complete treatment. The NFL should get into the 21st Century & follow suit. For those of you who think Irsay’s explanation is BS, I tell you to go screw off. I just wish you could walk a single mile in the shoes of an addict to truly see how addiction completely takes over & controls every aspect of one’s life. It is sad & more times than not, the addict winds up dying. Irsay’s issue is about much more than just football & him being an owner. It is about life & death.

  10. My eyes can’t roll any further back after reading the phrase “respect the shield”….Christ, these guys take themselves too seriously.

  11. Someone named “Kraft”said it… “So it is written, so it shall be done” (Pharoh – 10 Commandments). Geez, can the Krafts get anymore full of themselves?

  12. Sorry Mr. Kraft, but the double standard has already been, and continues to be played out as we speak.

    “While a suspension of Irsay before his legal case is resolved would constitute holding him to a higher standard…”

    Higher standard than ___? How about Roethlisberger, fined and suspended for a situation that couldn’t even be considered a first offense, since no charges were even filed? So you’re saying Irsay is being held to a higher standard who HAS been charged? Albeit, Law Enforcement also gives him a pass.

    Stop that charade and just tell it like it is – if you’re rich, you slide – regardless.

  13. Respect the shield = how much more can we rape the fans of their money than we already are.

    Watch, Irsay will never be suspended, fined or otherwise disciplined for this.

  14. kappy32 says:

    ‘Every criminal court across the country shows leniency for addicts whose crimes are a result of their addiction when they seek & complete treatment”.

    Actually the jails are filled with addicts who committed a crime fueled by their addiction. most courts consider the offense and not the addiction.

  15. Respect the shield? Goodell didn’t ‘respect the shield’ when he orchestrated false allegations and propaganda concerning the so-called bounty scandal. This was done only to satify the NFL as well as his own agenda related to the concussion lawsuits only to have his predecessor recant the bogus allegations.

  16. Only thing Goodell respects is money. Every single initiative he is for amounts to chasing cash for short-term profit with zero thought as to the long-term good of the game.

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