The NFL has been under strain with its suspension process lately.
The NFL’s handling of cases against Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley shows varying levels of punishment.
While Ridley gets a one-year suspension for playing NFL games, Watson only got an 11-game suspension for his sexual assault case.
However, there is another player that NFL fans can add to this equation.
With Aaron Rodgers now admitting he took ayahuasca, which is banned in the United States, it raises questions with the NFL’s suspension process.
Does the NFL really play the favorites by the suspensions it inflicts on players?
Inconsistency with sanctions causes mistrust in NFL suspension process
The NFL appears to have a tougher stance on the game than any currently when suspending players.
Baseball fans have seen what happens to players when they get caught playing games.
It’s something that continues to keep Pete Rose out of the MLB Hall of Fame.
Pete Rose has petitioned MLB and the Hall of Fame for reinstatement based on Astros’ recent penalties. Rose “does not dispute the seriousness of his violations,” according to the filing, but in light of recent rulings, he suggests his lifetime ban is “disproportionate.”
—Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 5, 2020
However, Ridley is lucky not to be getting the NFL’s Pete Rose treatment.
But is what he did more serious than the case against Watson?
If Ridley gets a one-year suspension for what he did, Watson should have had more with his case.
Even former NFL QB Robert Griffin III feels the punishment given to Watson was not enough.
The NFL had an opportunity to show it had learned from its ugly history on standing up for Women with this Deshaun Watson case and IT FAILED. 11 games and a 5 million dollar fine doesn’t fit what he was accused of doing and found to have done by Judge Sue L. Robinson. Sickening.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 18, 2022
The NFL’s inconsistency with player suspension time doesn’t help when some feel the process isn’t fair.
When you add the fact that Rodgers isn’t suspended for his ayahuasca use in 2020, it all explodes.
The NFL has a poor appearance history for playing favorites
Player suspensions aren’t the only area the NFL seems to have trouble with when trying to maintain integrity.
While MLB has suspended coaches involved in a sign-stealing scandal in Houston, the NFL is not doing the same.
No player discipline imposed by MLB or Crane.
Hinch was under contract until 2022, Luhnow until 2023.
— Red Sox Nation Stats (@RSNStats) January 13, 2020
However, those involved in filming other crews have never seen this kind of punishment.
During Spygate, Bill Belichick and New England Patriots staffers were accused of filming the Jets.
The NFL would fine Belichick $500,000, while the Patriots would be fined $250,000.
But Belichick was never suspended for a year, unlike the manager who was stealing signs at baseball games.
The NFL being soft on the Patriots for stealing defensive signals has some fans thinking they’re playing favorites.
Belichick and others’ lack of suspension gave fans plenty of reasons not to trust their process.
Will the NFL ever be able to regain fan trust by suspending players?
Three different NFL players have seen three different outcomes earning NFL suspensions.
While Ridley and Watson have been suspended in their business, Rodgers sees no punishment.
However, some may say Rodgers’ admission isn’t enough to suspend him for something he did in 2020.
But it at least shows the NFL wasn’t doing its due diligence at the time.
If the NFL is to regain the trust of fans and this process, it must be consistent and firm with its process.
Until they do, fans and players can’t trust their process because too many people have gotten away with misdeeds in the past.