The Tennessean has reported that Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt will only be suspended for the Titans' Week 1 game against the New England Patriots on September 9, 2012. Britt received a one-game suspension for repeated violations of the NFL's personal-conduct policy. The NFL has not officially announced this decision.
Since January 2010, Britt has had eight police incidents. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Britt have met on two separate occasions in the past year. On July 20, Britt was arrested for an incident at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Britt was charged with driving-under-the-influence. He also has multiple incidents with social media (Facebook and Instagram).
As a Titans enthusiast, I'm absolutely stunned with the leniency of the punishment. I'm happy that Jake Locker will have another offensive weapon by Week 2. However, Goodell has once again missed on an opportunity to give Britt a wake-up call.
A one-game suspension isn't a slap on the wrist; it's nothing. Even if Britt was available in Week 1, he would've been extremely limited. The Titans removed Britt from their physically-unable-to-perform list on August 28. Since September 2011, Britt has had three knee surgeries. He has had two surgeries on the right knee in which he tore his ACL in September 2011. .
Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden had a positive test for Adderall. Haden faces a four-game suspension. How does that warrant a punishment that's four times longer than somebody with eight police incidents and two warnings from the head of the league?
A one-game suspension sends a terrible message. By suspending Britt, Goodell is admitting that Britt is guilty. By suspending him for one game, Goodell is saying that DUIs hardly matter. Don't forget that it was only three-and-a-half years ago when Donte' Stallworth killed another human being. Stallworth killed him because he was driving drunk.
With everything else that Britt has done, I'm amazed to see the forgiveness here. Other players are hit much harder. They're either punished for much-less heinous crimes or as first-time offenders. If Britt has anymore police incidents in the future, then Goodell deserves partial blame.
Will Britt learn his lesson? The suspension means that Britt will lose $44,411.76. That's approximately six percent of his salary for the 2012-13 NFL season.
That doesn't sound like much for a player who makes a six-digit salary. However, Britt was disturbed when he was fined $9,915 just one day after his meeting with Goodell. The Titans had fined Britt for missing a mandatory injury rehab session. Britt posted a picture of the fine with his Instagram account. He had the following message:
"Yu gotta be (expletive) kidding me.. walk back to dis.. Don't dey know I have kids .. I'm tired of did (expletive)."
Britt was never disciplined. However, the reaction to losing that money is interesting. Will the loss of one game-check be enough to get his attention and make him behave?
I truly hope that Britt can make better decisions. I'm not confident that will happen. Britt must surround himself with better people. He must want to change. Nobody will do it for him.
Not even the NFL's jury, judge and executioner.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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