Time To Part Ways With Rolando McClain, Shame On You NFL

Posted Monday May 13, 2013 at 10:15:29 pm in Real Sports

To those that think the NBA has image problems, it's time for "The Shield" to be put under further scrutiny.

Roger Goodell, according to himself, says his main duty as commissioner of the NFL is "protecting the shield." But what he is doing, at times, is making a mockery of not only the NFL...but sport in general.

The laundry list of players that were allowed back in the league for major offenses is staggering.

Players like former Raven Donté Stallworth, for example. Stallworth was charged with DUI manslaughter on April 1, 2009. When it was all said and done, he only received 30 days of actual jail time (county jail). He reached a plea bargain. He was sentenced to those 30 days in county jail, but also 1,000 hours of community service, 2 years of community control, and 8 years probation. And he no longer has a Florida driver's license (for life) according to Wikipedia. This was for not only killing a pedestrian with his vehicle, but also being drunk and high (marijuana).

 So, kill a guy, get a DUI due to being under the influence (both alcohol and marijuana)...and not only do you get 30 days time in county jail, but by Roger Goodell's standards: you're back in the NFL after a year suspension.

Another example is current Philadelphia Eagle Michael Vick. In 2007, Vick was indicted on federal and Virginia state felony charges related to an interstate dog-fighting ring that, in Wikipedia's words, "involved drugs and gambling." On August 24, 2007 Vick filed plea documents with the federal court:

He admitted to providing most of the financing for the operation and to participating directly in several dog fights in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. He admitted to sharing in the proceeds from these dog fights. He further admitted that he knew his colleagues killed several dogs who did not perform well. He admitted to being involved in the destruction of 6?8 dogs, by hanging or drowning. The "victimization and killing of pit bulls" was considered an aggravating circumstance, allowing prosecutors to exceed the federal sentencing guidelines for the charge. Vick denied placing any side bets on the dogfights.

In addition, after having his bail posted, he tested positive for marijuana. This was a violation of his release while awaiting sentencing. When it was all said and done, he was sentenced to serve 23 months in federal prison.

After his release from federal custody, Vick agreed to plead guilty to the Virginia state charges on October 14, 2008. The condition? That he be released early from federal prison. This was denied, and ultimately in November 2008 he faced state charges.

Vick submitted a plea bargain to the state. Due to good behavior, his 3 year prison sentence was suspended and was only fined $2,500 from the state. His prison sentence was suspended on the condition of good behavior for 4 years. That probation expired in November 2012.

But what did the NFL do? After Vick pleaded guilty in August 2007, the NFL suspended Vick indefinitely without pay. However, after his release from prison on July 20, 2009, he was reinstated in week 3 of the 2009 season.

So much for being suspended indefinitely. Apparently only missing 2 games of the regular season was enough punishment for Vick according to Goodell.

But the issue with Goodell is that he isn't just a pushover when it comes to sticking to his initial guns with players like Vick, but he's also usually unfounded and inconsistent when it comes down to punishing players. Look no further than Ben Roethlisberger.

Ben Roethlisberger, much to the happiness of Baltimore Ravens fans, was suspended 6 games in 2010 (reduced to 4 games) as well as ordered to undergo a league mandated professional evaluation as well as he "must adhere to any counseling or treatment that is recommended by the professional evaluators."

The inconsistent and ridiculous thing about Goodell's iron fist when it came to Roethlisberger? He was never charged with any of the supposed sexual assault allegations.

So, let's wrap up some things. DUI (alcohol and marijuana) and manslaughter: miss one year in the NFL. Run a dog fighting ring, miss 2 games in the NFL. Not get charged with any sexual assault allegations? Miss 6 games (later reduced to 4). If anyone thinks Goodell is a consistent and fair commissioner with a backbone....I have a bridge to sell you.

Now how about Mr. Rolando McClain? The new Baltimore Raven under intense scrutiny due to an already tumultuous career filled with arrests and being known as a clubhouse cancer.

He's been charged with 3rd degree assault, menacing and reckless endangerment, discharging a firearm inside city limits, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, providing false information, amongst others.

During his tenure with the Oakland Raiders, he body slammed Danny Amendola, was kicked out of official team practice sessions, and put his current/former club on blast via social media.

Put all that together, and you'd think the NFL would do something about Rolando McClain. But instead the only penalty that he faced was a $5,000 fine for the body slam on Danny Amendola.

Not only that, but why do the Ravens think they can rehabilitate McClain? I'm all for second chances when it comes to momentarily lapses of judgement...but when it's more grandiose and persistent? Time to move on.

This isn't an issue with the Ravens. They've generally done a great job with mentoring their players.

From CBS Sports:

"We have a program in place for every single player who comes to Baltimore," DeCosta said via Wilson.

"We have an individual plan for every single player that gets mapped out before they come on campus. Some guys have different issues.

"It could be family issues. It could be academic issues, financial issues. It could be off-the-field stuff. It could be substance abuse. Just about every single player we have has something he needs help with and we could counsel him on. We have a whole bunch of people to help players."

But the issue with the NFL is that they are way too lenient. For a league that prides itself with "protecting the shield" as well as "protecting the players", based on the fines and suspensions given...that's roughly equivalent to a fart in the wind.

It's time for the NFL to stop making a mockery of itself. Harsher punishments. And this shouldn't just be for behavior. It should be for violating the banned substance policy. Remember in 2006 when Shawne Merriman only received a 4 game suspension for testing positive for steroids? Yeah, that's what I mean about the NFL being lenient.

If the NFL cared for its image, it would have suspended Vick indefinitely...and not reinstated him after just a couple games.

If the NFL cared for its image, it would have suspended McClain for his repeat behavior.

If the NFL cared for its image, it would have harsher penalties for players who violate the banned substance policy.

Still think Goodell is a good commissioner? I've got a bridge to sell you.

The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer’s view