Let’s talk about ethics today. In a time when Disney has decided that using their only African-American princess character to sell watermelon candy, which is more than questionable ethical action, the current major NFL news tops this easily. I really though my ears were deceiving me when the announcement was made of what kind of ethics some people have in the NFL. I had to do a double-take when I heard a NFL team had actually installed a bounty program as a normal every day business practice.
I have watched enough movies and television programs to know how bounty hunting works. I know it is a job and a dangerous one at that. The person who has a bounty on them is a fugitive from justice and the person hunting them is trying to bring them back to justice. If the bounty hunter succeeds then they will get a sizeable paycheck for helping the government for capturing the fugitive.
The New Orleans Saints are neither a government and no matter the moniker their name carries, the Saints are not hunting down fugitives at any time. Just then how do the New Orleans Saints justify having a bounty program in place. The players on the New Orleans Saints this past year implemented an illegal bounty program which was in essence a hit list. If you are familiar with a hit list, it is more of what an assassin or a mob hit man has. This is where someone is paid a fee to rough someone up or even worse kill a person.
The New Orleans Saints defensive players were paid extra money to injure certain players on the opposing team. The Saints defensive players were told to knock key players out of the game. The proof this type of program has been going on for a while, such a command was given to the New Orleans Saints defensive players concerning Brett Favre when he was playing. The amazing thing is the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints Gregg Williams knew all about the program and supported it.
I can understand wanting to lay a good hit on someone if you are defensive player, but your coach sending the message to actually do your best to injure someone is just mind boggling. Maybe Gregg Williams has watched too many Godfather movies. Did Gregg Williams really think he was a Don in a mafia organization ordering players to perform “a hit” (in a completely different sense of the word than a normal football hit) on unsuspecting players?
Gregg Williams actually involved 27 of the players on the New Orleans Saints roster in his bounty scheme. This number of players is for all intensive purposes half of the New Orleans Saints roster. While it would be good to think that Gregg Williams acted alone in implementing this system, there is a high probability some of the other coaching staff knew what was going on. Before it is all over I am sure we will see some additional people suffer some heavy consequences.
I realize that football may be a violent game and injuries are sure to happen. An injury should be an accident though and not because another player is receiving a special bonus for intentionally causing harm to a person. I know that professional football or professional sports for that matter is a business where it pays to be the best. However, at the heart of it all, we have to decide where to draw the line. In the end if we take things too far is it truly worth it? Ultimately we have to see that football is still just a game.