Sports Buzz: Bounty program exposes NFL’s dirty side; raises ethical issues
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 02:04
“We’ve got to make sure we do everything to kill [San Francisco 49ers running back] Frank Gore’s head.”
Quite a way to pump up a defense isn’t it? Former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams apparently thought so, and is now suspended indefinitely for paying players to make sure they “killed” Frank Gore’s head during a playoff game this past season.
For those who don’t know, Williams, head coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis were responsible for the operation of a two-year “bounty program” that paid defensive players for knocking out their opponents or injuring them.
The program mainly targeted older players or those who had serious injuries in the past and were more susceptible to injury. Sick to think about, but the above quote from Williams was only a small sample of the ugly side of America’s most glorified sport.
Violence in the NFL has become a hot topic recently, due to the increasing number of concussions and head trauma experienced by former NFL athletes. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has done his best to curb the inherent violence within the sport, handing out harsh fines and suspensions to players who have gone too far with their hits.
But after hearing the Gregg Williams audio clip, Goodell has a whole new problem on his hands.
Not only are players hitting violently (an unavoidable reality), but their coaches are encouraging and even rewarding them for doing so. That’s right. Coaches (or at least one), expected to enforce the rules, want their players to hit their opponents illegally for a little spending money on the side.
Are you kidding me? Who in their right mind could think doing that is at all permissible? Oh, I know: the feel-good, heart-warming New Orleans Saints; a team that America fell in love with after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their city.
We looked at Sean Payton as a hero, someone who would lead New Orleans out of the depths of despair. Now, we look at him as a lying scumbag who should have told the truth when he had the chance. He may not be as vulgar and disturbing as Williams, but Payton is responsible, as well, and may never coach again.
This “bounty program” story is a sad one. Football is supposed to be exciting to watch, but hearing the Gregg Williams audio tape (which is on YouTube for all to listen to) scares me.
I may hate some teams with a passion, but never would I ever want to see a player get hit so hard that his career is over and has head injuries the rest of his life. Football is such a fun sport to play and watch, but as in all sports, sometimes people get carried away.