When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell punished the New Orleans Saints for allegedly running a bounty program, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was portrayed as the worst offender. No other conclusion could be drawn since Goodell suspended Williams indefinitely.
So words can hardly do justice to the shock I felt this morning when I learned that Roger Goodell had granted Gregg Williams permission to attend today's St. Louis Rams game. (Before being suspended, the Rams named Williams their new defensive coordinator.)
The problem with Goodell's leniency is that Sean Payton, who was suspended for one season, has not received permission to attend any Saints games. Yes, Goodell granted Payton permission to attend this year's Hall of Fame ceremony when former Saint Willie Roaf was inducted. But Payton couldn't watch New Orleans play in person.
How can Gregg Williams attend a Rams regular season game and Sean Payton can't even go to a Saints preseason game? Could it just be a mere coincidence that Williams is suddenly in Goodell's good graces now that he's signed an affidavit that the Saints ran a bounty program under his watch?
Over the last two weeks, Roger Goodell has met with Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith, and Scott Fujita after an appeals panel ordered the NFL commissioner to revisit the Saints' bounty player suspensions. Instead of showing them the "tens of thousands" of pages of evidence he claims to have, he showed them Williams' signed affidavit.
What bothers me more than this obvious injustice is how Roger Goodell and the NFL insult our intelligence on a weekly basis. Through Week 3, the NFL PR machine proclaimed how great the replacement referees were while game after game was a virtual train wreck. Goodell reminds me of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome was burning.
Roger Goodell will reportedly announce new player suspensions on Monday or Tuesday. There is talk that Sean Payton's suspension could also be revisited. In light of Gregg Williams attending today's Rams game, Goodell should grant Payton concessions. If he doesn't, it will prove that Goodell is on a mission to destroy the New Orleans Saints.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
More from this contributorGame summary of Super Bowl 48
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Roger Goodell
- New Orleans Saints
- Gregg Williams
- Sean Payton