It was reported today that Gregg Williams, the leader of the New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal was reinstated and hired by the Tennessee Titans. This was the final step in making it so if anyone ever wanted to do a bounty scandal then they can get away with it. It all started with Sean Payton, and Greg Williams being suspended indefinitely, and the players being suspended for multiple games. In the end, Payton gets reinstated and a huge contract extension. The players suspensions are overturned and Williams gets reinstated by the league and has a job.
I am going to give a few examples of how bounties could play out in sports. Lets say that a group of pitchers in baseball get together and decide to take out a certain player and whichever pitcher takes the player out they get a bonus. If baseball, were to find this out all the the pitchers would have to do is say take a look at the New Orleans Saints. They did and got a way with it. Or what if a group of players decide to get together and intentionally slid into a star second or third basemen and then got a bonus for doing so. The response would be well the Saints did it, so can we.
How about hockey, a sport more violent than football. For example, what if the Detroit Red Wings got together and pooled their money and decided to take a star like Sidney Crosby. Whichever player took Sid the Kid out would get the bonus money. If officials found out and tried to take action the Red Wings could say that their was already a precedent for this and that all player suspensions were overturned.
Do you see where I am going with this? The NFLPA fought hard to prove innocence, the government let it slide when this and the wiretapping happened and other than the suspensions no one was banned from the league. This is going to allow other NFL teams to get away these actions and look back at this and say you can’t touch us because the Saints punishments were overturned and in the end the staff was rewarded. Other professional sports organizations can now look at the NFL and say, well you let the NFL teams and players get away with it, so we can get away with it too.
I don’t think a bounty scandal will happen for a long time because it brings to much negativity to the sport and organization. If it does happen the precedent for being able to get a way with it has already been set and you will get a slap on a wrist and will be told not to ever do it again. Bounty scandals are no different than steroids, or betting on your team that you manage.
The New Orleans Saints may have escaped extreme punishment but karma always has a way of biting you in the rear end. Karma got to the Saints with injuries and a losing a record in 2012. So beware to those teams who are even thinking of similar actions as the Saints. Bad luck and misfortune will find you.