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USA, Sports: Roger Goddell, NFL Commissioner, has suspended Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints Head Coach, for the entire 2012 season without pay as punishment for the "bounty" program implemented by former Defensive Coach, Greg Williams. There is no evidence Coach Payton was an active supporter of this program. His only offense was in not shutting it down when he did learn of its existence.
Throughout the history of football, every team has implemented incentives to its defensive players. While the motivational words to these defensive players was harsh and insensitive to the health and welfare of opposing players, not one Saints defensive player was fined or penalized for personal fouls on any of the identified "targets". There is no evidence to suggest that these particular players suffered more or were hit any harder than any other Saints' opponents.
The punishment handed down by Goodell is extreme and unwarranted when compared to the much more egregious conduct of the head coach of the New England Patriots, who over the course of several years, orchestrated a scheme to steal, and did steal, an opponent's game strategy in order to claim a play-off victory.
Goodell and the NFL are currently involved in litigation with former players over the NFL's failure to warn players of the potential for serious and permanent brain damage, and it is apparent NFL owners know they were wrong, and in an attempt to preemptively mitigate the future loss at trial is using the New Orleans Saints as a scapegoat in order to convince a jury player safety is top priority. Top priority is now, and has always been, PROFIT!
Throwing Sean Payton under the bus in order to avoid profit loss is strictly business and has absolutely nothing to do with concern for player safety.
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Story by: Byrlyne Van Dyke