The National Football League came down hard on the New Orleans Saints today by suspending head coach Sean Payton for a full season, defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely and General Manager Mickey Loomis for eight games for instituting a crush-for-cash bounty system. The Saints also lost two second round draft picks over the next two years and had linebackers coach Joe Vitt suspended for six games.
Throughout professional sports over the last century it has been commonplace actually for coaching staffs to request for an injury on an opposing player. Major League Baseball managers have been suspended at times when pitchers hit opposing batters. Hockey coaches have also requested their players to go after certain opposing players on the ice.
The only real difference between the Saints fiasco and the generic examples mentioned above is that the Saints offered financial benefits to those who might cause a serious injury to an opponent or be carted off on a stretcher. Either way, the NFL was right to set a proper standard here and enforce significant penalties. Hopefully other professional sports follow their lead and investigate altercations when it seems rather obvious when curious situations have taken place.
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