Taking Responsibility

June 19, 2009

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a statement yesterday. He suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth indefinitely without pay. Stallworth plead guilty on Tuesday to DUI manslaughter. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 10 years probation. Some have said the Commissioner did the right thing by suspending Stallworth. Others say he is making up for the perceived light sentence Stallworth got from the judicial system.

I think our judicial system left Commissioner Goodell with no choice. Stallworth will be released from jail on July 9th or 10th. Michael Vick will be released from federal custody on July 20th. It’s terrible PR for the NFL to have Stallworth released before Michael Vick. Stallworth could have conceivably reported for Browns training camp at the end of July. By imposing a league penalty equal to Vick’s, Commissioner Goodell is showing fairness. His actions say that no matter what the crime, NFL players should be held to a standard of character that equals their income and celebrity.

Far too many players have had run-ins with law in recent years. Really, what is the point of going to college, getting a great job afterwards, and living comfortably if you end up in prison anyway? It doesn’t make sense. The old saying “to whom much is given, much is required” couldn’t be more relevant. Our kids must be taught the true meaning of responsibility. It’s more than just what applies to you or your immediate circle. People of character take responsibility for their actions before something happens.

Think of responsibility like this. I make sure my hands are dry before I turn the lights off in my kitchen or bathroom. Why? Because the consequences of me touching a light switch with wet hands are more than me or my family can handle. Until next time…

Be a Good Sport!


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