The League

THE QUESTION

Was Donte' Stallworth's Suspension Fair?

Did NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell go too far by indefinitely suspending the Browns wide receiver from the National Football League, or not far enough?

Posted by Emil Steiner on June 19, 2009 5:55 AM
FEATURED COMMENTS

FrequentTraveler: He should be suspended for life and be forced to get a real job now that he's "paid" his debt to society. The son of a woman who works for m...

marksabbatini: I'd like to see a comparison of sentences others have gotten in similar DUI manslaughter cases, rather than an apples-to-oranges comparison ...

delOH: XC: I never engage in this, but...wow, not sure how what I said could be construed that I enjoy a dog fight. I could find entertainment in ...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (39)

ALL COMMENTS (39)
delOH Author Profile Page :

Absolutely not. But how is indefinite not far enough? The fact that Mike Vick goes away for two seasons for killing a dog puts Mr. Goodell, the NFLPA and Stallworth's legal team in a very interesting position. Commonsense calls for more downtime than Vick, doesn't it? Four seasons? Don't underestimate this commissioner, he is going to come down hard, regardless of the 'unique circumstances' the lawyer claims will sway Goodell. Donte's cash money had more to do with the family's cooperation than any unique facts. Get ready for a lifestyle change Donte!

mcstowy Author Profile Page :

Goodell bowed to MADD, and their insurance company sponsors, and overreacted. MADD is going to pump this case for all it can, claiming another "innocent victim" of a drunk driver. The fact of the matter is that Mario Reyes Jaywalked; darting in front of an oncoming vehicle and causing his own death. HE was at fault, not Donte Stallworth. There was has been no suggestion that Stallworth operated his vehicle recklessly, or that he violated any traffic law, other than having a BAC level over an arbitrary limit prescribed by law. In other words, but for Stallworth's BAC level, he was the innocent victim of Reyes' crime and there would have been no charges and no million dollar settlement. It's time we stopped listening to MADD's propaganda and started getting serious about traffic safety.

Jimbo77 Author Profile Page :

Just another clueless NFL thug! He'll be back like all the rest.

fendertweed Author Profile Page :

the guy got lucky in court, but for his celebrity he never would have gotten such lenient treatment.

I think Goodell's move is completely reasonable, about time the league get some credibility instead of protecting the thuggish element there.

DwightCollins Author Profile Page :

what would be fair is if he only spent 24 days in jail then he should have no more days in the nfl...
he should get a job where he works 8/5 and is on the clock...

jacobiadams Author Profile Page :

Donte' Stallworth "KILLED" a human being. Michael Vick "KILLED DOGS" What' Worse??
I say Banned Forever.

dumniggar Author Profile Page :

THE BLAK MILLIONAIRE SHOULD HAVE GONE TO JAIL---THEN PLAYING A STUPID GAME WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE!!!!!

A WHITE MAN WOULD HAVE GOT 20 YEARS!!!!!

RACIST JUDGE and PROSECUTOR!!!!!

ryanem1 Author Profile Page :

Hey, washingtonpost.com, not only have you left a comment up that features the n word, you have posted it up top under "featured comments", suggesting that you endorse this hate speech.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I am going to assume that, contrary to what the name suggests, "featured comments" are not reviewed by editors, but are rather simply the most recent comments posted. If that is the case, maybe it should be called "recent comments".

marksdc71 Author Profile Page :

10-year ban, which would amount to him never setting foot on the field again, which is fine as he was not a good player anyway. good for goodall. stallworth bought off the family, which in turn gave the court an easy and pathetic out. his FL court punishment is not even a slap on the wrist. sad that the NFL sets a higher standard than our court system

donaldtucker Author Profile Page :

wrong question.was the fl sentence fair?he did kill a person.

kuvasz Author Profile Page :

the guy recklessly killed another human being and did not serve more than 30 days because he bought off the family of the victim.

one would say that he is already a lucky man and continuing playing in the NFL ought to be considered too much luck. i hope that this killer has to shove manure the rest of his life and never gets a day off.

jadiner1 Author Profile Page :

Not only was the suspension of Donte Stallworth fair but the assertive actions taken by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were commendable!!!
Some Americans seem to have become confused. Being selected to be an NFL player is a priviledge not an entitlement. Having superior sports acumen does not give one a pass on obeying society's laws. Goodell's actions have taken a huge step toward creating the accountability the league, our society and the nation demands. For every one of you who bemoan the loss of the athletic prowess of Stallworth from the game, there are two of us who bemoan the loss of common sense, in lieu of a game/sport, for the safety and good of society as a whole. With Goodell's actions (and hopefully the possibility of permanent expulsions from the league on the horizon) society is guaranteed to see a "wholesale" metamorphosis in the conduct of many prima donna players who are are recklessly trampling the rights of society.

jpost1 Author Profile Page :

Another low-rent punk who needs to be canned from the NFL and clapped in prison for ten years. Maybe that'll get the word out to the other hoodlums in professional sports.

sethg58 Author Profile Page :

The punishment Stallworth received is the same that any prominent professional such doctor, lawyer or politician might get for the same crime. I am sure most of them after their 30 days are back on the job.

It is not the role of the NFL commissioner to determine if the American system of justice is broken. They must accept the system and say that justice has been done. It is up to Stallworth's employers, the Cleveland Browns, if they want him back. It is unfair to prevent him from working in his chosen field.

I could see an argument for suspension for several games up to one season. Stallworth made a big mistake and he has owned up to it. He has been a good example for everyone who has made a mistake inside and outside of sports. He did not blame anyone, lie or try to cover it up. For that he deserves a second chance.

jimarush Author Profile Page :

Michael Vick spent two and one half years in prison and millions of dollars in fines for promoting dog fights. Dante Stallworth kills a human being and gets thirty days in jail plus community service and ten years probation. What kind of twisted society do we have where a dog’s life is placed higher then humans?

I love dogs but hate PETA because of its obsession with animals. I love humanity but hate a judicial system that place the value of a human life below that of dogs. Roger Goodell did the right thing.

jdonner2 Author Profile Page :

This is after all the National Felons League. Stallworth will be welcomed back soon and held in higher regard by his fellow hoodlums.

jdonner2 Author Profile Page :

This is after all the National Felons League. Stallworth will be welcomed back soon and held in higher regard by his fellow hoodlums.

jdonner2 Author Profile Page :

He will be welcomed back soon by his fellow felons and be held in even higher regard. This is, after all, the National Felons League.

brewstercounty Author Profile Page :

He killed someone with his irresponsible behavior. People have lost their livelihoods for less than that. So it's fair he should lose his too.

Sideswiped Author Profile Page :

This guy is a ghetto rat that needs to spend many many years in a Prison where he belongs.

IrvFleckman Author Profile Page :

I agree with MCSTOWY - this is a tragic accident that would have happened regardless if the driver was drinking or not but this plays right into MADDs playbook by "adding" another statistic to pad their already inflated "number of accidents caused by impaired drivers" routine. I remember about 15-20 years ago when I read an article about an alcohol-related motorcycle accident that killed the rider and his passenger. It was written up as another horrible example of drunk driving and MADD was all over it. As it turns out, the motorcycle rider wrecked because he swerved to miss a beer can in the middle of the highway. Neither the rider or his passenger had any trace of alcohol in their systems. I learned this from speaking with the local officer who was at the scene. Needless to say it was chalked up as "alcohol related" so MADD could pad their statistics. As for Stallworth, he should appeal the suspension and he shouldn't pay one dime to the clown's family that caused this accident.

wbgood Author Profile Page :

The issue is the same for everyone of us. Either we live by the standards of the God who created us, i.e. His Word, the Bible. Or, we create our own god, which is ourselves, and live however we choose, with little or no regard for others. Me first. None of us are any better than any other. Some choices that we make are better than other choices. We all need help to make the right choices. It is unfortunate that the source of that help was removed from our educational system nearly fifty years ago. Re: Donte',"There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Alanboy395 Author Profile Page :

It's nice to see Goodell trying to give a severe but fair punishment when the Florida courts didnt. Personally, if I were Goodell i would reinstate him when he gets off house arrest and fulfills his sentence (2 years) or at least a full season.

I think Goodell did the right thing in Stallworth's case.

Sideswiped Author Profile Page :

Stallworth ought to be banned from Football for life period

rzm77 Author Profile Page :

While I don't agree with the FL prosecutions arangement, that's up to them to decide but if Stallworth gets anything lese then a year it's a tragedy. He did kill someone. It could be a life time ban and I'd be ok with it. Stallworth gets a second chance by not going to prison for 15-20 years like he could have. Football isn't a right so he can find a 9-5 like the rest of us. At least he probably has a couple of million sitting in a bank account if he doesn't play football again. We could only wish to be so lucky.

pga6 Author Profile Page :

Any job is a privilage. Football's a job, no matter what you think. When's the last time people protested in front of a utility company because one of their employees got a DUI? Even though they have FAR more impact on your life than a football player?
Believe it or not, there are a lot more people besides athletes who get DUI/DWI and receive light, lenient sentences. Otherwise, we'd have a lot less repeat DUI/DWI offenders. The Stallworth case would have gone invisible if he had not been a professional athlete.

wbgood Author Profile Page :

I cannot agree with MCSTOVY. Donte' was not an "innocent victim". He made the poor choice of driving after drinking enough alcohol to raise his BAC level above the legal limit. He broke law. It is my understanding that elevated BAC levels impair one's ability to function as effectively as they might otherwise. Is it not possible if Donte' had been completely sober he might have been able to avoid hitting Mr. Reyes. Both men broke the law. When we make "unlawful" choices we have no grounds on which to complain about the consequences. Most people driving the Capital Beltway every day are lawbreakers. The speed limit is 55 mph. Have you ever tried driving 55 mph on the Beltway with all manner of vehicles passing you on both sides at 65 mph to 85 mph and the driver behind you riding your bumper so close that you cannot see the headlights of his vehicle? When we see someone pulled over to the side of the road by a policeman do we say, "That is not fair", because 55 mph is an arbitary speed limit? We have lost respect for authority. Everyone does what one has decided is right for me. Donte' made a choice. He chose to break the law. The punishment should be just. But please, let's not call him an "innocent victim".

avbanig Author Profile Page :

I think he got what he deserved from the league and he deserved more time for the crime he committed. I know if I had done and act such as that i'd be in jail for a while. People need to start taking more resposibitly for their actions, especially professional athletes or rich people that think the world owes them.

beersquirrel Author Profile Page :

What Stallworth did was wrong; however, the guy was in the middle of a highway, and Stallworth took full responsibility for the action. I think the indefinite suspension seems excessive, in part, because it is completely out of line with previous penalties. I mean, Ray Lewis stabbed two guys to death, and received a 250k fine and NO SUSPENSION at all! Yes, Lewis did not plead guilty to charges of murder, but he did plead guilty to lesser charges, and, the Stallworth suspension had little to do with the court decision to jail Stallworth for a month. I also understand that the league is trying to clean up its act... but seriously, there is absolutely no consistency at all.

xconservative Author Profile Page :

delOH :
Absolutely not. But how is indefinite not far enough? The fact that Mike Vick goes away for two seasons for killing a dog ..
------------------------
delOH - are you stupid or just stupid? Mike Vick didn't kill a dog, he ran a dog fighting ring. Unless you are the type of sick SOB who enjoyes that, you should be made to see the fallout from these sick SOBs "entertainment". I do dog rescue and if you could see one of the "leftovers" from dog fighting, you might not make such a moronic statement. On the other hand, you may just be dumb.

hclark1 Author Profile Page :

Maryland football will finish with a 2-10 record

Maryland Basketball will finish with a 15-16 record
- No NCAA Bid
- No NIT Bid

Carolina Blue - Carolina WHITE - Go Tar Heels - Let's go Tar Heels !

SISSD1 Author Profile Page :

a human being was killed because this man was drunk,the civil authorities did not go far enough.now every one that kills someone while driving drunk gets a slap on the hand,pays the dead person family some money and walks away.I THINK NOT.

ozpunk Author Profile Page :

This was a just decision by Goodell and MADD has got nothing to do with this. Donte was above the legal limit, end of story. Jaywalking does not trump driving impaired.

alstl Author Profile Page :

Leonard Little got drunk and killed a wife and mother of two young kids. He walked away with a slap on the wrist while others in Missouri do years in prison for the same thing. Then a couple years later Little was pulled over for speeding and driving drunk. Still no action from the NFL.

If Charles Manson could play football and got out of prison, some owner in the NFL would sign him up.

If you are a thug your best chance to become a millionaire is the NFL.

duvalrcdd Author Profile Page :

In my opinion the NFL has gone too far in handing out punishment after a verdict by the courts. Once a court sentence has been imposed and served doesn't that suggest that the individuals "debt to society" has been paid? if it is good enough in the eyes of the judicial system that should be it. How does paying for the same crime twice make any sense whatsoever?

ozpunk Author Profile Page :

Playing in the NFL is a privilege so it makes complete sense that the commissioner can impose his own punishment.

FrequentTraveler Author Profile Page :

He should be suspended for life and be forced to get a real job now that he's "paid" his debt to society. The son of a woman who works for me was convicted of DUI manslaughter in Florida and was sentenced to 15 years, eligible for parole after 12. Where is the justice in that? Same crime, same state, same laws: 15 years vs. 30 days.

marksabbatini Author Profile Page :

I'd like to see a comparison of sentences others have gotten in similar DUI manslaughter cases, rather than an apples-to-oranges comparison with Vick. Just a quick Google search shows people getting sentences usually in the 5- to 15-year range. I covered a case in California years ago when a man got four years for an accident involving a fatality, even though it was the other driver's fault, because it was the sentence mandated by law for someone driving under the influence when a death was involved. So Stallworth's sentence seems unusual, but it'd be nice for someone to find out how often similar ones happen.

delOH Author Profile Page :

XC: I never engage in this, but...wow, not sure how what I said could be construed that I enjoy a dog fight. I could find entertainment in a good girl fight now and again, but never ever a dog fight. And yes, Vick did snuff out one of his kennel mates that did not fight up to his standards. It was common knowledge, very relevant to the case against him.

 
 
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