May 15th, 2012
Whether you agree with Roger Goodell‘s decisions or not, it seems that the punishments given to the New Orleans Saints staff and players will likely remain unchanged.
Following an investigation by the NFL, Commissioner Goodell banned head coach Sean Payton for the season, suspended four players for various lengths of time and levied a number of other penalties against the club.
The league found that the Saints had been intentionally trying to injure opposing players and receiving cash rewards to do so from coaches and other players.
As a result, the players’ union has filed a grievance which will be heard on Wednesday. The good news is that the league agreed to have an arbitrator hear the case instead of Goodell himself.
The bad news is that the arbitrator is Shyam Das.
If that name sounds familiar, it is because he was the arbitrator who overturned the suspension for baseball player Ryan Braun during the offseason. Braun was facing a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test, but it was ruled that the test collector did not follow correct procedure.
What was Das’ reward for defying the league he works for to help out a player? He was fired yesterday after 13 years of service.
Das has been a respected member of the sports community for years, but it is unlikely a person would burn the only bridge he has left by ruling against the NFL.
The players and coaches from the Saints deserve a harsh punishment from the league based on their actions, but the league is once again showing that the process is not a fair fight.
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