Dear Commons Community,
The Sporting News is reporting that New Orleans Saints players and at least one assistant coach maintained a bounty pool of up to $50,000 the last three seasons to reward game-ending injuries inflicted on opposing players, including Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, the NFL said Friday. “Knockouts” were worth $1,500 and “cart-offs” $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.
The NFL said Friday the pool amounts reached their height in 2009, the year the Saints won the Super Bowl.
The league said between 22 and 27 defensive players were involved in the program and that it was administered by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, with the knowledge of coach Sean Payton.
The Sporting News quotes Williams as apologizing for his role: “It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it,” he said.
No punishments have been handed out, but they could include suspension, fines and loss of draft picks. The NFL said the findings were corroborated by multiple, independent sources, during an investigation by the league’s security department.
The article further comments:
“Players contributed cash to the pool, at times large amounts, and in some cases the money pledged was directed against a specific person, the NFL said.
“The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.”
Payoffs included $1,500 for a “knockout” and $1,000 for a “cart-off,” with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs. All payouts for specific performances in a game, including interceptions or causing fumbles, are against NFL rules. The NFL also warns teams against such practices before each season.”
I guess winning is everything – even if it means maiming an opposing player!