NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell—who apparently moonlights as Batman villain Two Face when he’s not actively ruining the NFL’s reputation—has levied fines to a pair of Broncos defenders for their helmet to helmet hits on Panthers QB Cam Newton last Thursday.
Panthers fans have been waiting for the NFL to crack down on the illegal hits Newton suffered last week that nearly left him concussed on the field, and Goodell has answered our call with not one, but two fines to Broncos players.
Yes, you read that right. Fines.
It’s okay though, right? They’re at least significant fines aren’t they?
No. It’s not okay. No, they’re not.
The #Broncos fines are coming in: More than $18K for S Darian Stewart & more than $24K for LB Brandon Marshall for hits on Cam Newton— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 14, 2016
Yep, a measly $42K for scrambling Cam Newton’s brains on live television. In case you were wondering about the financial effect this will have on Stewart and Marshall, my colleague Erik Sommers did the math for you:
And, to extend this further, here’s a real world example of this “punishment”:
If you made $40,000 a year, and a court decided you'd pay a fine similar to to Brandon Marshall's, you would owe $30.40 for assault. #NFL— Erik Sommers (@Tater596) September 14, 2016
Wow, way to make a statement about player safety, Rog. You really showed them, didn’t you?
But hey, at least the NFL donated $100 million to concussion research (which conveniently was announced earlier today). Now if they can just figure out a way to prevent those pesky helmet to helmet hits that cause those concussions, maybe we can finally get somewhere on the issue.
The real problem here that Roger Goodell doesn’t seem to grasp is there is a real and serious problem with the officials allowing these hits to happen. I’m not going to rehash my beef with the lack of the officiating crew’s responsibility being questioned, but needless to say I find it deplorable that they weren’t punished for their part in this fiasco.
Perhaps it’s time for Roger Goodell to change his motto. It’s no longer “We care about the integrity of our league and the safety of its players”, but rather “We care about the public image of our brand, and we will do everything we can to ensure we come out of every mess unscathed”.
Shame on you, NFL. Shame on you for your hypocrisy and your blatant disregard for player safety. But at least you donated some money, right?
With that being said, I must state that only a small portion of my beef lies with Brandon Marshall or Darian Stewart. They shouldn’t have hit Cam in the helmet, but it’s not up to them to enforce the rules of the game. Yes, they should follow the rules, but why would they bother when they know they can get away with hitting the opposing quarterback in the skull? Their job is to try and win football games, so as long as their only punishment for trying to take out a quarterback is a measly fine, why wouldn’t they keep doing it?
That’s on you, Roger Goodell. You’re supposed to be the face of the NFL. Perhaps it’s time you pick the face you want and stick with it?