One football team is feeling the pain after a public scandal involving monetary incentives for injuring opponents.
Last month the New Orleans Saints made headline news for playing a different type of game. The Saints allegedly participated in a bounty system, where players were rewarded with money for injuring the opposing team.
According to an NFL investigation, players received $1,500 for a hit that took an opponent out of the game and $1,000 for a hit that that resulted in the player being assisted off the field. The amounts increased for playoff games.
“We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a public statement.
In addition to a $500,000 fine and the loss of draft picks in 2012 and 2013, Coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis, Assistant head coach Joe Vitt, and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, have been suspended. With the exception of Williams, all are appealing their suspensions, according to the League.
Goodell met with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to discuss disciplining the 22 to 27 players cited in the scandal. The union has asked for all the information related to the investigation.
While the Saints are the only team involved in the investigation, several current and former NFL players have acknowledged that bounties—while on a smaller scale—aren’t uncommon in the sport, notes Jemele Hill of ESPN.
In a recent interview, Pittsburg Steelers Linebacker LaMarr Woodly discussed the similarities between NFL contracts and bounties.
“If you think about it, when you say there’s an extra incentive, the ‘bounty,’ that’s like people having incentives in their contract,” said Woodley. “You get a certain amount of sacks, you get an extra bonus. Is that considered a bounty?”
What's the weirdest thing that’s happened at your workplace? Share your story and it could be featured in an upcoming column!