At a time when the NFL faces a defense from Deshaun Watson that the league tiptoes around the oligarchs who own franchises, the NBA has taken a much different approach to owner discipline.
Via ESPN, the NBA fined Warriors owner Joe Lacob a whopping $500,000 on Wednesday for uttering two words. (Not those two.) He called the league’s luxury tax system “very unfair” during a podcast appearance.
The fine arises from the fact that the comments relate to CBA talks with the NBA Players Association. And, indeed, the NFL has shown a willingness to whack owners who speak out of turn when it comes to the effort to avoid showing any weakness whatsoever to the union.
In 2010, the NFL imposed a six-figure fine on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for comments about revenue sharing in advance of the 2011 lockout.
Still, 12 years later, the NFL has opted to overlook the apparent fact that the Cowboys failed to report a potential Personal Conduct Policy violation in 2015, arising from the cheerleaders voyeurism scandal. Likewise, the NFL seemingly won’t be investigating the situation now, choosing to let it go (and hope the public moves on) in lieu of exploring questions regarding who knew what and when they knew it about the secreting video recording of cheerleaders who were changing clothes, if it indeed happened. (The Cowboys reportedly paid $2.4 million to resolve the situation with the cheerleaders in question.)
How can the NFL reconcile its aggressive pursuit of a full-year suspension of Watson with failing to even flinch at the seven-year-old news that emerged in February regarding misbehavior against women within one of the most popular franchises in the league? It can’t. It can’t, so it hasn’t even tried. It just looked the other way, confident that the fire will go out quickly if The Shield supplies neither fuel nor oxygen to it.
It’s sad, but it’s effective. How much can be written or said about the situation if there are no new developments? And if the league chooses to ignore it completely, the league won’t contribute to the creation of any such developments.