The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Goodell On Right Track


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did exactly what he should have by issuing an indefinite suspension to Donte' Stallworth. It's certainly consistent with Goodell's strict handling of off-field issues, including the cases of Michael Vick and Adam Jones.

Stallworth's circumstance is much more dire than that of either Vick or Jones. An innocent man is dead as a direct result of Stallworth's negligence. For that, Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and received 30 days in jail, two years of house arrest and eight years on probation.

Goodell's ruling does not have to coincide with the legal outcome of Stallworth's case. The commissioner has wide-ranging authority to discipline a player regardless of whether he is found guilty in a court of law.

An indefinite suspension could mean all of this season and even into next year, which still would be little more than a slap on the wrist considering the gravity of Stallworth's crime. Remember Stallworth could have received up to 15 years in jail had he not possessed the financial resources to hire the best legal counsel, enabling him to reach a plea agreement.

There is precedent for punishment regarding an NFL player in a DUI manslaughter case. St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little was suspended for the first eight games of the 1999 season after killing a woman in a DUI-related accident, but that ruling was made before Goodell became commissioner.

You have to figure Stallworth will get at least double that plus a possible additional penalty based on Goodell's handling of the Vick case. Vick served 19 months in prison for his involvement in a dog fighting ring and remains under indefinite suspension by the league.

By Gene Wang  |  June 19, 2009; 7:39 AM ET  | Category:  Gene Wang , NFL , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Jeez, I certainly wouldn't want you on a jury.

Do you even know the facts behind the case?

Someone ran in front of him when he was driving down a 6-lane freeway. Impaired or not, Dante had many extenuating circumstances, and to ignore them shows no compassion or understanding.

Once the judge and prosecution looked at all of the facts, they came to the right decision.

I'm not sure which I would consider worse:
1. That you didn't bother to examine those facts; or
2. That you just dismissed them out of hand.

Posted by: lbarbato | June 19, 2009 10:59 PM

Finally, a reasoned response from Gene Wang, citing precedent no less. To the rest of you: Write down what you consider a fair judgment in the case. Now, show your judgment to your spouse and tell him/her that the offender in the case is Bank One's CEO... and the victim a very close relative. That will let you know where you stand.

Posted by: paul37 | June 20, 2009 6:24 PM

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