Goodell, NFL Allow Josh Brent On Sideline During Dallas Cowboys Game Despite Allegedly Killing A Man
To say that some of Roger Goodell’s actions as commissioner of the NFL have been inconsistent would be an understatement. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that his handling of the Josh Brent situation in Dallas is exactly that as well.
Consider this: Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones and Ben Roethlisberger were both suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy despite not being convicted of the crimes they were suspended for. Roethlisberger wasn’t even charged with a crime. Jones was banned for a full season, while Roethlisberger missed four games.
Meanwhile Josh Brent who, whether convicted of intoxication manslaughter charges or not, was behind the wheel when teammate Jerry Brown died, was on the sidelines for Dallas’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15.
To summarize the above paragraphs: Jones and Roethlisberger lost a combined 20 games while being responsible for zero deaths, while Josh Brent is allowed to be on the field with his team after killing a man, drunk or not.
As if that type of inconsistency wasn’t egregious enough, Goodell can’t even manage to suspend players for the same period of time for the same offenses. Donte Stallworth, with the Cleveland Browns at the time, was suspended for the entire 2009 season for a DUI manslaughter.
Now, maybe Brent will be suspended further down the road, as the legal proceedings of his case progress. But, if you’re the commissioner of the NFL, wouldn’t you do what you could to make sure that someone who killed a guy wasn’t on your sidelines until those proceedings were complete?
And if you’re Jerry Jones, why would you even allow Brent into the facility? Jones’ excuse was that his teammates wanted him on the sidelines, but Brent’s teammates aren’t the owners of the franchise, are they?
Granted, this response is from the same guy who didn’t care very much when Dez Bryant was allegedly beating up his mother in the preseason, so at least Jones can say he is consistent, which is more than his commissioner can boast.
All in all, this is just a weird situation that could have been avoided by Roger Goodell just staying consistent with the precedents he has set in previous personal conduct policy rulings. Maybe he is too busy trying to regain his confidence after being emasculated by former commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the Bountygate hearings to flex his disciplinary muscles at the moment.