Monday, July 23, 2007

Three Cheers for Roger

Roger Goodell, new commissioner of the NFL, did the right thing. He told embattled Falcons QB Mike Vick to take a seat and not show up to Falcons training camp. Goodell doesn't have the responsibility to determine guilt or innocence, he has a responsibility to the NFL, and Vick has tarnished the league, plain and simple....regardless of the extent of his involvement, Vick stands at the center of a horribly cruel dog-fighting scandal that generated an incredibly poor perception, and sometimes perception becomes reality if not dealt with swiftly. To not act, would have been an indictment of Goodell's ability to protect the best interests of the league.

Let me say this again, Goodell did the right thing, and just as important, he did it at the right time. You see the indictment came down last week, and up went the hue and cry condemning Vick. Now if Goodell has done something immediately (or within say 24 hours), it would've come off as a knee-jerk overreaction. By waiting until this week, it shows that the NFL Commissioner deliberated, thought it out and presented a forthright, moral reason for asking Vick to stay home.

In a letter to the quarterback, he explained that due process is a constitutional right for the accused, not a privilege accorded to those with a roster spot: "While it is for the criminal justice system to determine your guilt or innocence, it is my responsibility as commissioner of the National Football league to determine whether your conduct, even if not criminal, nonetheless violated league policies, including the Personal Conduct Policy."

I think its rather obvious that at the very least, Vick lied to the NFL Commissioner in April when he claimed to have no knowledge of, and nothing to do with dog-fighting at this West Virginia property. That alone would give most employers a reason to ask for a temporary suspension. This is the right decision - Good on ya, Rog.

No comments: