Players still want NFL to take action against Chad Wheeler

USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks apparently hoped that they’d be able to quietly deal with tackle Chad Wheeler’s deeply disturbing arrest for suspicion of domestic violence. The NFL continues to quietly deal with the situation. Players are not happy about that.

Per a league source, multiple players want the league office to issue a strong statement against Wheeler and impose significant discipline against him.

The Seahawks initially did nothing, presumably because they believed that they could let Wheeler’s expiring contract end, not offer him a new deal, and move on from him. The Seahawks learned it wouldn’t be that simple. With an uproar that got louder and louder as more and more people became aware of the troubling details of the case, the Seahawks eventually waived Wheeler’s rights.

Wheeler, obviously, went unclaimed on waivers. He’s now unemployed by any NFL team, and he likely never will be again.

For some players, however, that’s not nearly enough. They want the NFL to take action against Wheeler, issuing the kind of swift justice that routinely is visited upon other players. The league likely thinks that it needs to do nothing at this point to ensure Wheeler never plays again; his unemployment coupled with the threat that he’d be placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the prosecution (and then suspended without pay afterward) should be more than enough to keep all teams away from a player who wasn’t sufficiently skilled to be a starter.

The league likely prefers to do nothing because anything the league does at this point will bring extra attention to the story. Even though punishing Wheeler would be the right thing to do, a story about Wheeler sparked by the league issuing the kind of suspension his situation deserves would bring negative attention to the fact that he was even in the league in the first place.

That’s not placating players who are curious to see whether a white player will face the same kind of consequences that Black players repeatedly have faced from the league office. (The league, for example, obsessed over enforcing a six-game suspension against Ezekiel Elliott in 2017, even though he was never arrested, charged, or even sued.) Although the league likely isn’t thinking of the situation in those terms, players are. And players want to see the league do something conspicuous and consequential with Wheeler in order to prove that there isn’t a double standard at 345 Park Avenue.

59 responses to “Players still want NFL to take action against Chad Wheeler

  1. I think you’re giving the Seahawks too much credit here. If Wheeler walked and then signed a contract the ‘Hawks would have been due draft compensation in 2022. I’m of the opinion that was the motivating factor for keeping him on the roster.

  2. Give me a break. The same players where Tyreek Hill is playing in the SUPER BOWL, and Eric Bieniemy is coaching?

    Walk the walk or shut up about it.

  3. Doesn’t the man suffer from bipolar disorder? Is there any players that will actually publicly call for this extreme punishment? Name these multiple players. Shouldn’t immediate medical treatment be the first consideration? This could easily become a tragedy where people ask – ‘How could this have been avoided?’

  4. lgw91s says:
    January 30, 2021 at 4:58 pm
    Doesn’t the man suffer from bipolar disorder? Is there any players that will actually publicly call for this extreme punishment? Name these multiple players. Shouldn’t immediate medical treatment be the first consideration? This could easily become a tragedy where people ask – ‘How could this have been avoided?’

    ——————

    I suffer from bipolar disorder and I got a couple years on this dude. I never laid hands on anyone, much less a woman. It’s not a get out of jail free card. Nor is it in line with typical bipolar behavior. We’re better at burning bridges with verbal abuse, unfortunately. Or fortunately, compared to what Wheeler did. Plus he’s already getting treatment. This excuse is no good

  5. Mental disorders are a part of our society and have been openly discussed for some time. People with depression, bi-polar, and such are every part of our family, friends, and neighbors. Acceptance has its limitations particularly when malevolence, violence, and death/suicide are involved. While we become more educated on the subject of tolerance, we must willfully remain vigilant and enforce acceptable behavior within our society lest our civilization weaken and crumble. I believe this man needs to be incarcerated, but I pray he gets the help he needs.

  6. lgw91s says:
    January 30, 2021 at 4:58 pm
    Doesn’t the man suffer from bipolar disorder?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes, and he reportedly stopped taking his meds. His choice. No way this limits his liability or despicable behavior. He is not a victim here.

  7. Make an example of him. There have been players ostracized for less than this. If he was a fringe player anyway, just make sure he never comes back.

  8. Punishment under the law, or from the nfl, should be the same regardless of race. Why did these players not speak up when their were previous domestic violence issues? Chad Wheeler is white and his girlfriend is black. He should be punished for this shameful act the same as any other person regardless of their race or their partner’s race.

  9. Typical NFL “JUST-US.”

    The league should announce that the combine will now include a psychological evaluation and history — to determine whether a player can meet the league / NFLPA “code of ethics.”

    I think that the league is responsible for policing the consequences for conduct OUTSIDE of team activities — in concert with law enforcement authorities. If the Seahawks actually were tolerant of this brutality, they would have immediately signed Kareem Hunt, after his release from the Cheifs. So, many of the above arguments do not hold water.

    Nobody is disputing the culpability of Wheeler, but may be claiming unequal application of procedure by the league — which may be placing ownership interests above “doing the right thing.”

    “Fiduciary duty is contrary to human nature.” — Thomas Anderson

  10. Why is he being singled out vs. the dozens and dozens of other incidents where there’s been DV in the NFL…?

  11. If he’s unemployed and there hasn’t been a resolution of charges, what is the point of issuing discipline? To be seen as “fair?” Everyone knows he’s never playing again barring some complete collapse in the case. Even if it was dismissed on so e technicality or he somehow beat it, no team would sign him. If they did, suspend him then.

  12. There is no double standard comparison with the Elliot case. He was under contract, the NFL investigation was over a year long and then he was suspended the 6 games. Wheeler’s case is so significant it begs for an indefinite suspension, pending full investigation & case disposition. It shouldn’t take too long for that decision to be made. In that, I agree with you all.

  13. he’s out of the NFL. not sure what the NFL can do at that point. the rest is a police matter.

  14. But there IS a double standard at 345 Park Avenue — just like there is a double standard everywhere across America.

  15. Tell Hills baby momma. Tell Bieniemys ex’s. Tell rando hotel chick that Hunt knows. How many others? The real crime is that he is only charged with suspicion of DV. He told the chick he was surprised she is alive.

  16. Double standard my a$$ plenty of kid beaters and wife beaters in the league and playing this Sunday

  17. Yet none of these players caused an uproar when Joe Mixon was drafted into the league after smashing a woman’s face in on camera hmmmmmm I wonder why that is. Total complete hypocrites

  18. Sounds like another Greg Hardy situation not sure what else you could do to him. Although Tyreek Hill has been given a free pass for something similar so that makes me wonder.

  19. Nfl is not the law to judge any one but to hire or not to hire. At this point in time, he’s no longer employed. Leave him to the authority to decide and judge.

  20. what do the players think about tyreek hill playing in the super bowl next week? he beat and strangled his pregnant girlfriend and broke the arm of his defenseless three year old kid. others guilty as well on the same team frank Clark kicked off his college team for beating his girlfriend. yet the Chiefs make both of these guys multi millionaires. so what exactly is the playets feeling on this?

  21. Suspend him for 1,000 games! No, wait, 1,000,000 games. Really send a message. By the way, how’s Aldon Smith doing?

  22. All you experts comment like you know any of the facts surrounding Tyreek Hill and you just dont…so stop already. An accusation or an assumption does not make anyone guilty…regardless of how much you dislike that the guy abuses your teams defense. That being said…The NFL needs to make a policy that a player convicted of violent crimes should be immediately banned from the league. Its garbage that one team has to release a player to appease the public…only to watch another team get to sign them 6 months later and continue their career.

  23. “Multiple players” want the NFL to take more severe action against a player who will never play in the league again. Who are these “multiple players”? Let them come forward and state their positions. Let them go on TV and have a real exchange with a responsible host who will challenge them. My guess is that none will come forward.

  24. Isn’t he about to go to jail, what do they want the NFL to specifically do that’s not already done, not like he’ll be back in the league, he was barely starter talent to begin with.

  25. Florio’s last paragraph is very true. Definitely double standard based on whether player is black or white. He never even got extensive media coverage like other players do.

  26. I remember a story about one player that plead guilty to choking his then pregnant girlfriend. What ever happened to him?

  27. The thesis of all these comments is what a garbage organization the Chiefs are. Hill, Clark Bienemy; why are they all accepted in KC? Because the Hunt family has a long history of domestic abuse too.

    Every KC fan will hit the thumbs down but stop and think about what if it was your mother, sister or daughter?

  28. berniemadoffsides says:
    January 30, 2021 at 5:24 pm
    Why is he being singled out vs. the dozens and dozens of other incidents where there’s been DV in the NFL…?

    ———-
    1) He’s not being singled out. This has received far less media attention than other cases.

    2) Because other cases resulted in punishment (even for free agents like Greg Hardy), and this hasn’t.

    3) This is, by far and away, the most extreme case that has come to light.

    Even Jovan Belcher, upon realizing what he had done in a flash of anger, took time to express remorse and hastily arrange for his daughter’s care before committing suicide.

    Wheeler…just sat down to eat breakfast. And when he realized she was still alive, he got up to finish the job.

    You really gonna brush that off as “there are dozens of other cases”?

  29. If anything, there’s a double standard of the opposite kind to what’s being suggested here.

    Let’s make a list of every active player who has had DV accusations made against them. I have a pretty good idea what we’ll see.

    He’s not employed by a team. You can’t suspend someone who you don’t employ who is not seeking employment. His behavior is a criminal matter, he no longer works for the NFL.

  30. fourthandforever says:
    January 30, 2021 at 6:42 pm
    All you experts comment like you know any of the facts surrounding Tyreek Hill and you just dont…so stop already. An accusation or an assumption does not make anyone guilty…regardless of how much you dislike that the guy abuses your teams defense. That being said…The NFL needs to make a policy that a player convicted of violent crimes should be immediately banned from the league. Its garbage that one team has to release a player to appease the public…only to watch another team get to sign them 6 months later and continue their career.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Fact: Hill pled guilty in 2014 to domestic abuse by strangulation

  31. Not sure how to factor race into this when arguably the biggest start in the league at that time (Brady) got suspended for air in footballs. On the DV front (along with any negative incident), the league had always swept things under the rug until they couldn’t. Ray Rice was facing a slap on the wrist until video of his incident came to light. I commended PFT for having multiple write-ups on the Wheeler incident because it’s noteworthy for many reasons but in the end there isn’t much the league can do to the guy. Fine him? Suspend him? He isn’t getting another sniff in the league. Not a lot you can do to a guy who won’t even be a memory by next season as far as NFL teams go.

  32. Fact: Hill pled guilty in 2014 to domestic abuse by strangulation
    —————————————————————

    Fact: Hill pled guilty at the advice of an incredibly bad lawyer who told a young scared kid that it was his best option. He didn’t know any better. Inept and/or unscrupulous lawyers sell out clients to settle cases every day. Happens all the time.

    Fact: He wasn’t guilty.

  33. Are these the same “multiple players” who were questioning T. Hill’s situation or had an opinion about AB’s latest drama?….if not why isn’t PFT going after the hypocrisy?

  34. Like what? That’s like an employer firing someone who’s already been fired. They have no jurisdiction over Wheeler now. The only thing they could do is suspend him but they typically only do that after the legal process has played out. They should treat him the same way they treated Greg Hardy and Tyreek Hill. The difference with those guys is they had enough talent to play again. Wheeler’s NFL career is gone.

  35. There is a double standard. “Everyone who is guilty of Domestic Violence should be expelled from the League…. unless they are a star player for a team that I am rooting for.”

    Tyreek Hill plead GUILTY to strangling his then pregnant girlfriend. He was also accused of punching her in the stomach, and later accused of breaking his son’s arm.

    Yet here he is; being celebrated, with his 55M contract extension and playing in the Super Bowl.

  36. Where was all this outrage when Tyreek Hill was threatening and assaulting his girl and beating their kid?
    Selective outrage, huh?

  37. Chad Wheeler has a serious mental illness. That’s not to say that he is free to behave any way he wishes because it’s not. He stopped taking his meds and this happened – he must be held accountable. But this case is not comparable in the slightest to juvenile minded players getting soused and assaulting women.

  38. I didn’t realize Eric Bieniemy had a checkered legal past. With that being said, then why is everyone still scratching their heads wondering why he’s not a head coach?

  39. What do these same players say about Tyreek Hill and Frank Clark playing in the Super Bowl this weekend?

  40. Suspend him while the judicial system runs it’s course. After he’s put in prison, then ban him for life from NFL. Mandate all teams wear a patch on the 2021 season uniforms referencing support for the young lady that he assaulted. Have a moment of silence mandated before the National Anthem is played at the first game of the season in support of victims of domestic violence.

  41. BREAKING NEWS: Matthew Stanford on his way to the NFC West as Detroit and LA Rams swap starting QB’s!

  42. Eric Bienemy choked a woman. Has a DUI. When he was head recruiter at Colorado, the program was accused of using sex and alcohol to lure recruits. A woman made a rape accusation at a recruiting function. Bienemy was banned from Colorado’s campus.

    Maybe Wheeler should interview for some head coaching jobs.

  43. When the NFL ran their “No More” anti-domestic violence campaign, Eli Manning was the biggest name in the league associated with it. Manning was outspoken on the subject, until one of his teammates was involved in a DV situation. Then, Manning didn’t have much to say.

    The point is, it’s easy to talk about the league needing to do more and take more action, but that tune is going to change for some players if it means taking away players from their team. Let’s see what the Chiefs and Buccaneers think if the NFL suspends Tyreek Hill, Frank Clark and Antonio Brown for the SB and beyond.

  44. It’s a legal matter, and like all such instances, the NFL should do nothing. Until the legal authorities are done with whatever they do, the league should maybe place a guy on the Exempt list or suspend him, to keep him away, then if guilty, he’s gone. If not guilty, he’s allowed to do whatever he wants, and teams can keep him or release him as they see fit. The league tries to appease public opinion and virtue-signal, and they simply can’t be even-handed, because every case has it’s own circumstances. They’re always going to come out looking bad trying to do this.

  45. Yeah, there’s a double standard alright, and it’s based on talent. Wheeler is a nobody backup lineman. Blackballing him and suspending him for games that he will never play would be an easy and painless bit of virtue signaling for the league to perform. Guys like Tyreek Hill, Ben Rothlisburger, Eric Bienemy, Gregg Williams, Frank Clark, Adrian Peterson, Antonio Brown, Ezekiel Elliott, etc. who are really good at playing or coaching football tend not to miss much TV time. Yeah, they sometimes get suspended when they actually get criminally convicted, but they always find their way back. All the talk about suspensions and fines and “zero tollerance” is a joke. It does nothing to ensure that the people we watch perform amazing athletic feats are any better human beings than the O.J. Simpsons and Conrad Doblers and Buddy Ryans of yesteryear. The league is going to continue to put Darren Sharpers and Marvin Harrisons and Aaron Hernandezs on the field, because they are really good at playing ball. They have neither the inclination nor the ability to do otherwise.

  46. There really inst any action to take. Hes no longer employed by the NFL he was never going to play in the NFL again and everyone knows it. But to appease the few they could release a statement saying hes banned indefinitely. They should have already done if for only to get ahead of the pc police.

  47. So equal discipline as Tyreek Hill, Joe Mixon, Kareem Hunt, Eric Bienemy, Randy Moss, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Jameis Winston ect then, correct?

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