For many sports leagues, consistency breeds success.
In the NFL it’s no different on the field as winning clubs rarely fall flat.
Off the field should be the same though in recent years the NFL has had an unclear policy in regards to law-breaking star players and an image problem.
The introduction of new commissioner Roger Goodell has seen a change in both player punishment and league credibility.
Many harsh penalties have been levied on players and this summer has seen the latest sign of a code of ethics being enforced.
Star wide receiver Donte Stallworth was suspended for this season and at this point will have to wait until after the Super Bowl to find out if he has a career left in pro football.
The reasoning being that Stallworth was convicted of DUI after killing a Miami man while being intoxicated behind the wheel of his Bentley.
Stallworth has agreed to an undisclosed (and probably hefty) settlement with the family and has to deal with various state fines.
Up to now it has been debatable whether Goodell’s no-nonsense attitude was for the better of the league. However his punishment of Stallworth shows he is consistent.
Stallworth’s crime is a serious matter. Many people die around the world every year from drunken driving. Sadly in most cases it’s an innocent person who suffers while the drunken ones survive.
Goodell is absolutely in the right to suspend Stallworth for such a long length of time. In fact this reporter would see no problem if the punishment took away any more chances of Stallworth in the league.
Ultimately Stallworth’s example is not enough to help the NFL’s image though it is an encouraging sign. American football will be better off if the league can steady its focus on both talent and character.