The League

Ken Palmer
Author

Ken Palmer

Authored three books on the Giants and has covered the Giants for the past 15 years for The Giant Insider.

Truth Should've Set Plax Free

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The fact that Plaxico Burress admitted his guilt in front of a Manhattan grand jury might not have been the wisest move. However, it does nothing to change the fact that he's being made an example of and shouldn't be facing anywhere near the extreme penalties that he's now likely to receive following the news of his indictments on three counts.

While there is still a lot to play out here, it brings us to these following football-related questions: will Burress ever play in the NFL again? And should Burress ever play in the NFL again? It's darn near impossible to answer the first query until we know just how severe his sentence is going to be. At this point it appears that even any kind of plea bargain is going to carry with it multiple years behind bars for the man who carried the Giants to the Super Bowl championship in 2007.

As for the latter question, I say without a shadow of a doubt that Burress should be able to play in the league again. I've been told over and over again that you 'can't' compare him to Donte Stallworth, but I still don't and likely never will understand why. Stallworth was driving drunk and killed someone. Intentional or not, he took some man's life. He spent 24 days in jail. Plaxico didn't hurt anyone except for himself. That's it. Did he put others in danger by his stupid actions? Absolutely. But the bottom line is that he didn't hurt anyone besides himself.

We already know what the laws are. We also know that Mayor Bloomberg, for some reason or another, wants to make an example out of one of the main men responsible for a parade in his city a year-and-a-half back. So Plax will certainly do the time. But that should be it. We certainly don't need heavy-handed Roger Goodell weighing in on top of it just to have his name in the news again as he so often does.

I've been told that you shouldn't compare the Burress and Stallworth situations. Why not? We compare statistics to determine who's the best - and along with that - highest-paid receiver, don't we? So why shouldn't we compare the crimes and the ensuing times? We should - and that would certainly help Burress out favorably, not only now but when it comes time for his return to the NFL. By the time he completes whatever punishment was meted out, he'll have more than paid the price for his transgressions. Much more.

Listen, I'm not saying that Burress is a model citizen in any way, shape or form. I've seen up-close how he can disrupt a locker room, a huddle and even a quarterback's in-game performance with his sometimes selfish actions. But that doesn't make him a criminal. Heck, it doesn't even make him a bad guy. He made a mistake. He's about to pay a much-too-high price as a result and that should be the end of it.

Plaxico Burress definitely deserves to be back playing in the NFL at some point. And you can put me down for much sooner than later as well.

By Ken Palmer  |  August 4, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  | Category:  Crime , Michael Vick , NFL , New York Giants , Plaxico Burress , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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"Plaxico didn't hurt anyone except for himself. That's it. Did he put others in danger by his stupid actions? Absolutely. But the bottom line is that he didn't hurt anyone besides himself."

Yea, and all Michael Vick did was hurt a bunch of dogs.

Really, when I want to read some drivel that contains zero logic, I either read the latest story about Marion Barry or I come to the sports pages.

I think the NFL should keep this a*ole in service, but in a spin off league that contains only felons. It would be sort of a farm club for the NFL; in short order there would be plenty of players, and they would compete with one another not only with on the field statistics, but also off the field good works to show that they are capable of acting like regular human beings and obeying the law. In this case, ol' Plaxico would play for a few years in the National Felons League, but on the side teach gun safety courses. If he kept a clean record, he could return to the regular NFL.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 4, 2009 11:58 AM

YES, Plax will play again (as he should). YES, he broke a law and must (as he should) face the consequences. Bloomberg is not making an example of this man. Plax is being treated the same as anyone else caught with an unregeistered/illegal weapon in the city. Maybe the Post should encourage DC to enforce its anti-weapon laws and back up the law with stiff, mandatory jail time.

Posted by: george36 | August 4, 2009 12:00 PM

You make an example to set a precedent. That precedent can bring about change. Change is needed. Yes, he should be allowed to play; yes, he should serve time.

Posted by: vn11701 | August 4, 2009 12:40 PM

If Plaxico were an every day joe, rather than a celebrity athlete, would anybody really care about the fairness of the charges? It seems like the only time the fairness of a particular law is discussed is when an upper class person falls a foul of them.

If this gun law is so egregiously unfair, than its not enough to let Plax go free. We should change the law so that others in the same situation - without the benefit of a high price legal team - aren't treated unfairly either.

Personally, I think Plaxico deserves jail time. Bringing a gun into a night club is more than just stupid mistake. More than just an oops, my bad. Plaxico is drinking. Club members are drinking. It is not environment suited for guns. 3 years sentence would probably translate into 1.5 years of jail. That sounds fair to me.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | August 4, 2009 1:42 PM

So the logic here is that since no one else was hurt, Burress should not be prosecuted to the full extant of the law. Interesting concept! Commit a crime and it will only be considered serious if someone else is hurt. These laws were designed to prevent anyone from getting hurt by such stupid and ill advised behavior.

Posted by: chopin224 | August 4, 2009 2:06 PM

What it boils down to regarding any dispute about sentencing is who establishes the best precedent, the state or the defense. If the state can show case after case of consistent 3 years sentences for people in the same situation a plax then the defense will have to come up with some precedent or record of leniency by a NY judge in past cases or plax does the same time as the guy before him with the same record. They had better show the judge a case of a person with no crimnal history in NY catching a possession charge without permit, bringing it into a public place, it firing, and the person given a lighter sentence for plax to get off. If it hasnt been done before it wont be done for him.

Posted by: ged0386 | August 4, 2009 2:09 PM

The man carried a loaded gun, bullet in the chamber and safety off. He carried it for a reason. He might need to threaten and/or shoot someone. As luck would have it, no one else died in this situation. Go to jail, directly to jail. The law is the law.

Posted by: ldroath | August 4, 2009 2:25 PM

Goodell has become the second coming of Judge Landis. The next negotiations, the players' union needs to make sure that there is an avenue to appeal Goodell's decrees.

Posted by: ggreenbaum | August 4, 2009 2:50 PM

End result is this guy only harmed himself. Most people in clud did not even know it happened.

It is reckless endangerment. If somebody is drunk driving, but only harms himself in an accident -- does he go to jail for a few years?? Probably not.

Posted by: loux24 | August 4, 2009 7:50 PM

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