The Redskins safety's suspension was reduced by hearing officer Ted Cottrell, who is jointly hired by the NFL and NFL Players Association. Meriweather had been suspended earlier this week for repeatedly targeting the heads of opponents. He had two such hits on Sunday against Chicago.
Why would either side be happy with that outcome?
Meriweather, who has shown a blatant disregard for safety rules, is the poster child for what the NFL wants to get rid of. In the post-concussion settlement era, the reduction of the suspension just looks like the NFL is continuing it's "League of Denial" ways.
[Related: Redskins to bring back safety Jordan Pugh]
The NFLPA has an obligation to protect its members, but protecting one repeat violator over all the receivers who he has no regard for is a bad look for the union too. Bears receiver Brandon Marshall said Meriweather might deserve to get kicked out of the NFL. Bears tight end Martellus Bennett ripped Meriweather and said he wanted to punch him in the face. Those players, and many others who value their safety and likely share those sentiments, pay their union dues too.
Meriweather has less reason to change his ways now that the suspension has been cut in half. There was no good reason to reduce his suspension. If anything, it should have been longer. The NFL wants to rid the game of his kind of headhunting. The two-game suspension made the league look like it was trying to take a stand. The reduction makes the league look like it doesn't care (although, as stated before, the union is just as culpable).
We'll see if a one-game suspension is enough to make Meriweather change his ways. And if not hopefully some common sense prevails and his next suspension, which is probably inevitable, isn't reduced.
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- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Brandon Meriweather
- NFL Players Association
- Washington Redskins