Archive for the ‘General’ Category

We break from our fantasy rantings to bring you the last bountygate post that will ever appear in this space. And of course, we all know that’s a filthy lie.

Although he affirmed the factual findings from commissioner Roger Goodell and the presence of “conduct detrimental” by the players involved, Paul Tagliabue has vacated all player discipline in the bounty rulings, overturning the four suspensions. Here’s his statement that was tweeted by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

“Unlike Saints’ broad organizational misconduct, player appeals involve sharply focused issues of alleged individual player misconduct in several different aspects. My affirmation of Commissioner Goodell’s findings could certainly justify the issuance of fines. However, this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints’ organization. Having reviewed the testimony very carefully, including documentary evidence that is at the center of the conflict, and having assessed the credibility of the four central witnesses on these matters, I find there is more than enough evidence to support Commissioner Goodell’s findings that Mr. Vilma offered such a bounty (on Brett Favre).”

I busted and burned my legalese glasses long ago, but here’s the rough translation I glean from that:

I , Paul Tagliabue, am fond of Roger Goodell and believe that he’s a kind person, and his gun feels very cold on my neck. Therefore, I also believe that everything he found on every player in this investigation (Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and free agent Anthony Hargrove) is correct. However, they still don’t deserve historic, precedent-setting punishments, even though said evidence is really strong.

And here’s the league’s official statement:

“We respect Mr. Tagliabue’s decision, which underscores the due process afforded players in NFL disciplinary matters. This matter has now been reviewed by Commissioner Goodell, two CBA grievance arbitrators, the CBA Appeals Panel, and Mr. Tagliabue as Commissioner Goodell’s designated appeals officer. The decisions have made clear that the Saints operated a bounty program in violation of league rules for three years, that the program endangered player safety, and that the commissioner has the authority under the CBA to impose discipline for those actions as conduct detrimental to the league. Strong action was taken in this matter to protect player safety and ensure that bounties would be eliminated from football.”

Read the rest of this entry »

UPDATE (1:04 p.m. ET): Police have confirmed the player is linebacker Jovan Belcher, a fourth-year player who had started 10 games this year, recording 38 tackles.

His girlfriend’s name is Kasandra Perkins, and she was shot in front of Belcher’s mother, and their three-month old daughter.

UPDATE (12:50 p.m. ET): Football is quite clearly meaningless at a time like this, but even as this tragedy lingers the NFL may have to make a tough decision regarding the status of tomorrow’s Chiefs-Panthers game that’s scheduled for 1:00 ET at Arrowhead Stadium, almost exactly 24 hours from now. The Charlotte Observer reports that the Panthers were told to travel to Kansas City today as planned, but Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks spoke to a league source who said that won’t impact any decision.

“If the Panthers have to fly back from Kansas City without having played the game, it’s not that big of an issue to deal with,” the source said. “We’d rather take the time to think through all the ramifications.”

Jay Glazer reports that as of right now there are no plans to cancel the game, though officials from the two teams have been communicating throughout the day as they evaluate their decision.

UPDATE (12:00 p.m. ET): Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli witnessed the shooting.

 

UPDATE (11:50 a.m. ET): NFL Network’s Albert Breer reports that when police arrived at the Chiefs’ facility at about 8:10 CT they found the player with a gun to his head, and he was surrounded by team staff.

UPDATE (11:39 a.m. ET): The Kansas City Star has more. There was reportedly a confrontation at the team facility:

Police said the 25-year-old player shot his girlfriend multiple times around 8 a.m. at a home in the 5400 block of Crysler Avenue in Kansas City. The woman’s mother was present at the time and witnessed the incident.

The player then left the scene and went to the Chiefs practice facility at Arrowhead. After a confrontation with team personnel, in which they attempted to stop the player from committing additional acts of violence, he shot himself. Police heard the single gunshot as they arrived at the scene.

ORIGINAL POST

The 13th weekend of the NFL season has started with tragedy. An unnamed Chiefs player has been involved in a shooting, first killing his girlfriend, and then committing suicide at the team’s practice facility.

KCTV5 in Kansas City has the details:

The first shooting was reported about 8 a.m. at a home near East 54th Terrace and Crysler Avenue. The second shooting was reported a short time later at a Chiefs practice facility located on the Arrowhead facility.

Officials said the Chiefs player shot and killed his girlfriend and then drove to the practice facility where he shot and killed himself.

We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.

Pic via the Portland Press Herald