NFL Commish Embraces the S-word with Cooper Incident

Published on 6-Aug-2013 by Richard Huryn

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Opinion

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NFL Commish Embraces the S-word with Cooper Incident

The S-word.

Everyone has used it at some point in their lives.  Hell, most of us knew it at a very early age; some of us as early as we could talk.

Yep, I am referring to the word scared.

Scared is an accurate description of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell right now.  With respect to the Riley Cooper incident, Goodell had a golden opportunity to tell the league, the fans, and the world that the NFL will not tolerate this type of behavior.  Goodell could have sent a message to Cooper and all other players that racism and hatred do not belong in the NFL.

Instead, he got scared … and stood behind some carefully crafted words.

Thursday on ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning radio show, Goodell had this to say:

"I'm glad to see the club stepped up and took a decisive action quickly. That's the important part of this. We do not penalize at the club level and the league level for the same incident ... that's something we have an agreement in our collective bargaining agreement not to do. So we will not be taking action separately from the club."


So, no punishment at the league and club level for the same incident?

This is an interesting statement that allows us to make some not-so-cloudy inferences. It leads us to believe that for just about any incident, a team can “step up” quickly enough and levy their own punishment, and the league will not act. 

I hope all 32 teams were listening to that. I hope next time one of their players delivers a questionable hit on a “defenseless receiver” that the team fines the player an “undisclosed amount.” Then, when Commissioner Goodell tries to take $75,000 away from that player, the team can just simply remind Goodell of the statement he made on 1 August 2013.

Nice try, Goodell. However, the real reason you didn’t act is because you were scared. You were scared that if you moved on this hateful word, you’d be forced to deal with the Washington Redskins issue again. You’d be forced to explain to everyone why it is OK to offend one group of people but not OK to offend a different group of people.

And that, simply put, is an argument he cannot win.