Irsay deserves a larger suspension
The NFL was criticized for its two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice. The backlash caused the NFL to redefine their personal conduct policy. Now it looks like the NFL has made another mistake. Indianapolis’ professional football team owner, Jim Irsay, was arrested for suspicion of drug possession and DUI.
Irsay was suspended six games and fined $500,000 but it should have been larger. Now before you go and start comparing this to Rice’s suspension and crime, let’s just say it is comparing apples to oranges. Yes, Rice’s crime was worse. Assault is always worse and I will end it there.
However, Irsay reportedly has a history of drug and alcohol problems. Jim’s father, Rob Irsay, who is hated in Baltimore for sneaking the Baltimore Colts out in the middle of the night, also had alcohol problems. Like father, like son.
The thing is, Irsay’s importance to Indianapolis’ professional football team is very minor. Irsay is not the head coach, he does not play and he is not the general manager making roster decisions; so Irsay being away from his team really does not affect them all that much. The money does not hurt Irsay either; the man is worth over a billion dollars.
Indy should have been punished with some draft picks, because that’s really the only way it would hurt them. When Irsay doesn’t show up, the team doesn’t lose a player like when a player is suspended. When a player is suspended and misses a game it changes the game plan; so the Ravens losing Rice for two games has far more impact than Indy losing Irsay for six. Indy losing Irsay is pretty much no punishment on the team.
So, Irsay’s punishment is basically a “time-out” and a little pocket change and that’s not much for someone who, if he did not have first-class lawyers, would have been in a lot more trouble than a misdemeanor DUI charge.
An NFL owner should be the leader of the team and set an example.