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In a world that seems to have flushed its values down the drain, Rodger Goodell refuses to conform.

Today the N.F.L. Commissioner handed down an indefinite suspension to Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver (and human steam-roller) Donte Stallworth. This was a day after the “long arm of the law” slapped the 28-year-old with a 30-day jail sentence.

In a letter detailing the suspension, Goodell called Stallworth’s actions “inexcusable,” and stated that “there is no reasonable dispute that [Stallworth’s] continued eligibility for participation at this time would undermine the integrity of and public confidence in our league.”

Finally, somebody who gets it.

Stallworth killed a man. He ended his life. A month in prison could never be enough time to sufficiently punish, rehabilitate, or otherwise effect him. Professional athlete or not, there is no justification for such mercy on the part of the judge.

Honestly, his stats aren’t even all that impressive.

Goodell managed to see past the uniform. The fact that this is Stallworth’s criminal record is relatively clean is irrelevant. There is something wrong with the way that his brain is wired. He drove drunk, which always a horrendous choice, and something that he had complete control over. His poor judgement resulted in the death of an innocent man. Goodell sees that the consequences of such actions should be severe and send a definitive message.

I know that if I mowed down a 59-year old man, I would surely face a steeper sentence.

Goodell has taken fair punitive measures against most of the league’s trouble-makers. He has yet to re-instate Michael Vick, and has made it clear that NFL players have a standard to live up to. Goodell is an image-conscious man and feels that his league has no room for questionable behavior.

Enter Plaxico Burress.

Goodell may take preventative measure against the now-free-agent wide receiver and expert marksman. “We may not wait for the legal process to conclude when we have repeat offenders.  You can have a false accusation once, maybe twice.  When you start getting into multiple accusations, you are putting yourself in the wrong position. You are making the wrong decision. You are in the wrong places. At that point in time, you are reflecting poorly on the NFL, yourself, your teammates.  That does damage for all of us.”

Roger Goodell gets it. Thank god he doesn’t have to deal with Ryan Leaf .

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