NFL Discipline Analysis

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Lately, the NFL has been under intense public scrutiny for the way it disciplines the actions of players, and rightly so. Famous NFL players, such as Tom Brady and Greg Hardy, have been subject to the debatable methods the NFL uses when disciplining its top athletes. Undoubtedly, the National Football League as a whole, as well as its commissioner, Roger Goodell, have drastically declined in popularity in the past year due to these numerous controversial decisions. One of the main problems with the NFL’s disciplinary process is that it determines players guilty without almost any evidence. One of the most recent examples of this is the case of Tom Brady and the deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game of 2015. After a lengthy trial…show more content…
However, these brand new policies are now being used to determine punishments for infractions that occurred while the old policies were still in place, which directly affects players such as Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys, who are on trial for cases of domestic violence. Recently, Hardy’s punishment has been reduced from the original ten game suspension to a four game suspension, after the arbitrator, Harold Henderson stated that “ten games was simply too much” (McManus, 2015). This may not satisfy Hardy, however, because under the NFL’s old disciplinary policies, this misdemeanor would have constituted for no more than a two game suspension. This case makes evident just how skewed the NFL’s decision making process is when dealing with disciplinary actions. Fans of the Cowboys are thrilled about the reduction in Hardy’s suspension because Hardy is an invaluable asset to the Cowboys’ defense, so he is desperately needed if the Cowboys are to have a winning season. It is becoming increasingly evident in the public’s eye however, just how lopsided the NFL’s disciplinary processes actually are, which most definitely declines the overall popularity of the…show more content…
A balance must be reached between the NFL and the public, which can only be done by creating strict guidelines for punishing each type of infraction and strictly adhering to these guidelines when enforcing the punishment. Tom Brady and Greg Hardy are only two examples of players being subjectively punished for their actions, and many more will likely fall victim to this disciplinary process if a change is not made. The NFL has the power to convict players without proof, as in the case of Brady, as well as the ability to choose for how many games a player will be suspended, with little to no precedents as for how to deal with the severity of the infraction, as in the case of Hardy. A large portion of the NFL’s popularity lies with how it handles punishing its players that have committed wrongdoings. In the past year alone, numerous decisions have greatly upset the public, which has tarnished the NFL’s brand, and overall damaged its popularity in the eyes of the

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