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Deciphering The NFL’s Suspension Inconsistency

Greg Mandozzi ‘18

Staff Writer


The Sheriff, Peyton Manning has been made out to be a model citizen over his lengthy career in the NFL. He has his perfect family, his impressive statistics, and he prides himself on being in the news for all the right reasons. He had no scandals, no enemies, and every opposing coach and player had nothing but good things to say about the man. After winning the 2016 Superbowl, it seemed Manning could retire in peace being remembered as a true football icon. However, do to some recent scandals, now we are left with a bad taste in our mouth.

For one, Peyton has been accused of taking HGH years ago as he tried to get over a neck injury he suffered as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. At the time the injury was seen as a possible career ending one for the superstar, and apparently he took drastic measures. A drug often linked to the sport of baseball, Human Growth Hormone is used for performance enhancement and is banned by the league.

Another blemish on Manning’s “perfect” record is the sexual abuse allegation that has arisen from an incident taking place in 1996 when Manning was a student at the University of Tennessee. This is something that has already been through court, and something that ended in a settlement.

What confuses me is the double standard Roger Goodell and the NFL continue to put forth in the varying ways punishment is delivered to players. Tom Brady deflated some footballs, or as the reports found he probably did, with no legitimate evidence saying he did it, or that he even had knowledge of it. Of course, with facts and strong evidence proving Manning both used an illegal substance and was involved in an incident with a woman in college he seems to be coming out unscathed. The fact that no consequence has come down on either of these violations of the league policies is simply unfair. It’s not even that he hasn’t yet faced punishment, put a mere investigation for either is seemingly non existent. Why anyone is even given it a second look is beyond me.

We all remember the tirade Roger Goodell went on when gunning for Tom Brady’s reputation in the deflategate saga that started during the game the accused deflating happened, all the way until now. Over a year later, and Brady faces more press, and interrogation than the recently accused Manning. Now what is worse, using an illegal substance and mistreating a woman, or maybe deflating some footballs in one half of one snowy/rainy game, where the Patriots could have won with a beach ball? Yet Goodell went on a witch hunt, took picks and a fine from New England and suspended Brady four games before being embarrassed in court. The suspension was reversed however the fine and confiscation of draft picks remains. All fans and I want is some hard evidence and some facts and maybe it can start to be justified in my head, but until then this was simply overkill.

It is clear the NFL is all over the place on discipline. Between Ray Rice only getting a two game suspension even after Goodell was found to have seen the video evidence, and how Greg Hardy was able to play football so easily after his incident. Brady has been taking criticism from the media and the court of public opinion ever since the day the accusation began and Manning is getting away with breaking the law in more ways than one. That fact alone is frustrating, but even more so is the fact that the media, the commissioner, and even the fans don’t really seem to care.