Hey NFL, time to be accountable

Ian Taylor

As the NFL opens the 2014 season this weekend, yet another high profile player’s name has been covered in scandal-laced mud.  

This time it’s one of Denver Broncos’ wide receivers, Wes Welker, one of the most crystal clean men in professional sports up to this point.

Suspended now for the opening four games, Welker has been accused of taking the popular party drug Molly while at the Kentucky Derby earlier this year, an accusation he vehemently denies, to nobody’s surprise.  

Welker, a player who took the league by surprise early in his career by signing with the Miami Dolphins after going undrafted out of college, played a substantial role for years in the Big 12 at Texas Tech University.

He burst on the scene as the first of a new breed of slot receivers that would fit in a thimble, a trend made popular by the New England Patriots team he played for, and one now followed by nearly all of the NFL.

But following his former battle of attrition, Welker now faces an uphill challenge like no other, one that will test his resolve on and off the field, one that multiple players face throughout their time in the NFL, a time called suspension bull “spit”.

What, you may be asking, just happened?

Well, reader, this is the point in the article where we go from mainstream journalism to upset bystander—a fan, short for fanatic, who is tired of the double standard presented by this dominant entertainment organization.

Granted, on the hierarchy of deeds worth punishment in the NFL, this one is much lower on the totem pole, but nonetheless it garners attention that leads one’s mind to wonder at all the other player transgressions.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about a company that suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice an unprecedented two games after he beat his female companion unconscious in an elevator in Atlantic City in February.

The ruling by Commissioner Roger Goodell can only be described as colossally unfitting.

This is the same league that slapped players such as 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith with a nine-game suspension this year after felony weapons charges, alleged bomb threats at a Los Angeles International Airport and a DUI last season.

This is the same league that allows players like former wide receiver Donte Stallworth to return to the gridiron following an incident in Florida where Stallworth, driving with a blood alcohol content of .126, struck Mario Reyes, a construction worker, leaving him dead. Stallworth served only 24 of his original 30 day sentence behind bars.

When will this debauchery end and these so-called role models be given their due justice?

In this day and age where we seem to hold celebrities to the highest of standards, why is it that we, and most egregiously the NFL, allow these athletes to literally get away with murder?

Now, I know we all make mistakes. I surely have, but you find me one person on God’s green earth who says that Welker possibly taking Molly at the Kentucky Derby (which is the weirdest thing I have ever heard) deserves more of a punishment from his place of employment than Rice, who was caught by security cameras dragging a seemingly lifeless woman’s body from an elevator moments after rendering her unconscious, and I will show you someone who obviously answers phones in front of an office that reads Goodell.

Regardless, the name of the game here is accountability. And if the NFL wants us, the consumers, to attend a single contest, they need to make sure the trouble making players are the ones having their pockets picked, not us.