In the football world there is the law and then there is Roger Goodell’s law. The two are often intertwined yet neither is in any way linked to the other. Goodell’s law operates outside of the jurisdiction of a normal court. In fact, in Goodell’s law there is no court at all. Just his office and his way.
Once Goodell inherited the throne as the most powerful man in all of American sports he set out to establish a code of conduct for all players to adhere to. Since then we’ve seen no shortage of suspensions handed out in situations where no actual crime as committed.
That’s why the future of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Rolando McClain are very much in doubt. Both men have had off field issues that either have been or are still going through the court system. DHB pled no contest to a DUI while McClain is awaiting a retrial for his aggravated assault charge in Alabama.
Whereas McClain could face serious jail time if his conviction is upheld, DHB’s punishment isn’t nearly as severe.
Regardless, all that matters is the league office is still said to be “reviewing” the cases of Heyward-Bey and McClain which means suspensions could be looming. That means Dennis Allen’s preparation heading into the season has to include a few contingency plans. In addition to concerns of possible injuries now Allen must also have a plan in place should he lose two of his more valued contributors.
Such is life in the NFL. What makes the Court of Goodell so frustrating to deal with is that there is no apparent rhyme or reason to his rulings. Considering Goodell has suspended players in the past while their court cases were still pending yet is in no hurry to make a judgment on McClain or DHB is another example of the NFL’s inconsistent nature.
Of course part of the delay in ruling on McClain, who was first arrested last year, could be awaiting the outcome of his retrial. For Heyward-Bey, there really is no reason why there has yet to be any decision. His case is signed and seal. Could be that Goodell has bigger fish to fry…cough…cough…bountygate.
So the Raiders, McClain and Heyward-Bey are all stuck playing the waiting game. A game that might or might not result in the two men missing games.