T Nation

Haynesworth's Punishment Not Enough

Titan’s defensive lineman only received a 5 game suspension for ripping the face off of a Cowboy’s player with his cleats. WTF? He should be suspended for the remainder of the year AT LEAST if not expelled from the league all together.

The freaking Players Association wants him to appeal. Again, WTF? To his credit, Haynesworth has accepted responsibility and has no plans to appeal any decision made by the league.

Here’s an opportunity to send a message to the players and the fans. This is like a hockey player coming up behind someone and hitting them in the neck with their stick. This guy was on the ground, Haynesworth kicked his helmet off and stomped on his face twice. The guy needed 30 stiches. That is assault, not just rough play. I hope they kick him out of the league and press charges.

I’m venting a little, thinking about some of the other threads recently discussing what’s wrong with people and society. This is one of those situations. Just because he’s a professional athelete and celebrity, he’ll get a light punishment. If I did something like that I’d be in jail with a felony offense on my recored for the rest of my life.

Here’s the video, watch to the end:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7-4dLBWiz0&mode=related&search=

Agreed. The Titan’s coach should have increased the penalty. I hope that Andre Gurode decides to press charges criminally. No sport needs cowardly moves like Haynesworth.

I totally agree, that was a really stupid move, unecesary to say the least. I hoped he would be suspended for the rest of the season, or banned forever!

I agree completely. That move bordered on criminal, and I think the Player’s Union is foolish for even indirectly defending it.

Haynesworth could’ve seriously, seriously injured Andre Gurode with that (thankfully he didn’t), and deserves as serious a punishment as the NFL can dish out.

It didn’t “border on criminal”, it was criminal.

If I did that outside a bar, I’d still be trying to make bail. This cocksucker gets off with a five game suspension?

That’s bullshit.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
It didn’t “border on criminal”, it was criminal.

If I did that outside a bar, I’d still be trying to make bail. This cocksucker gets off with a five game suspension?

That’s bullshit.[/quote]

Agreed! He should be out for the rest of the year.

as was mentioned above…marty mcsoreley was charged with multiple counts when he hit donald brashear with his stick across the side of the head. also, todd bertuzzi was charged criminally when he decided to intentionally injure someone as well. they let everyone back into the league, which i do think they should do with haynesworth, but increase the charge. everybody knows how they can react in the heat of a game situation, he got burnt and they scored through his lane, he acted out with aggression and frustration. im not saying its an excuse at all, but dont ban him from the league or anything.

I agree with you to some extent, it was a disgusting thing to do, they should suspend him for the rest of the season, but not kick him out of the game.

What’s worse, though, is the cut-blocking crap lines like Denver’s use, which blows out knees and cripples guys. They should suspend someone for the season for that stuff, which often happens with barely a whisper about how dirty it is.

Exactly. Hopefully, criminal charges will follow soon.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
It didn’t “border on criminal”, it was criminal.

If I did that outside a bar, I’d still be trying to make bail. This cocksucker gets off with a five game suspension?

That’s bullshit.[/quote]

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
I agree with you to some extent, it was a disgusting thing to do, they should suspend him for the rest of the season, but not kick him out of the game.

What’s worse, though, is the cut-blocking crap lines like Denver’s use, which blows out knees and cripples guys. They should suspend someone for the season for that stuff, which often happens with barely a whisper about how dirty it is.[/quote]

Cut blocking is a part of the game. Chop blocking (cutting someone from behind) is fucking dirty. Either way, defensive players have to be protecting their legs at all times.

they say the dallas player has the option to press charges with the full support of the dallas pd. I somehow doubt he will though. I think haynesworth should have been suspended for an entire year, meaning he would miss the first 4 games of next year as well.

For those of you who may be athletes, haven’t you ever gotten caught up in the moment and done something out of control? Who knows what that lineman had been doing to him all game previous to the incident. People’s heads get stomped all the time on purpose in rugby, it’s called a ruck. It’s illegal to go for the head but it still happens all the time with maybe a red card the result of a serious offense. 5 games is the longest suspension of its kind yet, so I think it proves the point. The 30 stitches is pretty bad though, I wonder if that number was inflated at all.

Anyways, a cowardly act, but I think it was dealt with appropriately, especially after the player immediately demonstrated remorse and concern.

I agree that it was disgusting. But its costing him 188,943.75. Out of a 600k salary. Almost a third of his annual salary. I think thats enough to make someone think about it.

[quote]apayne wrote:
For those of you who may be athletes, haven’t you ever gotten caught up in the moment and done something out of control? Who knows what that lineman had been doing to him all game previous to the incident. People’s heads get stomped all the time on purpose in rugby, it’s called a ruck. It’s illegal to go for the head but it still happens all the time with maybe a red card the result of a serious offense. 5 games is the longest suspension of its kind yet, so I think it proves the point. The 30 stitches is pretty bad though, I wonder if that number was inflated at all.

Anyways, a cowardly act, but I think it was dealt with appropriately, especially after the player immediately demonstrated immediate remorse and concern.[/quote]

It was a criminal act. He kicked the helmet off the guys head and then stepped on his face. That goes way beyond just a cheap hit. And the guy DID NOT show remorse. He stood there and tried to argue with the refs and his coach. “What’d I do?” with his hands in the air. Yes, he’s sorry now that he won’t be getting P.A.I.D for a while.

The league needs to draw a line somewhere. What exactly does a guy need to do to get banned? Shoot someone during a kickoff? Stab a ref? Rape a cheerleader?

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
It didn’t “border on criminal”, it was criminal.

If I did that outside a bar, I’d still be trying to make bail. This cocksucker gets off with a five game suspension?

That’s bullshit.[/quote]

There’s a very vague line where sport ends and criminality begins. Of course, if you did this in public, you’d be charged. But then, every tackle of every football game would be considered criminal battery in public society.

I believe the courts hold that by participating in a contact sport, the athletes have accepted some degree of reasonable risk. There have been cases where in-game violence exceeds that reasonable risk (like the Marty McSorley case, as others have described), but it is still not a definate, well-defined line.

Was Haynesworth’s stomp really any different than a cheap shot to the legs that blows out an athlete’s knee? All agree that cheap shots are not a true part of sports, but they happen pretty regularly and yet they are not often prosecuted.

(It would be interesting if anybody could find out how many cases involving an injury that occured on the field of play have gone to court, and how the courts have ruled. I may be incorrect, and it just might be the case that very few athletes have pressed charges when they could have won damages in court.)

The athletic arena is a unique environment where physical violence that is considered criminal in public is a regular occurance. But what, exactly, is the line that seperates “dirty” from “criminal”?

In this case, it appears that Law Enforcement Officers agree with you that Haynesworth’s stomp crossed the line into criminality. That does not mean, however, that this action was a cut-and-dried crime. There is a valid argument that it does not belong in a court room, and should be dealt with solely by the NFL and the Tennessee Titans.

In either case, this action falls in the gray area between athletics and crime. Thus, it “borders on criminal”.

Note that I am mainly playing devil’s advocate with this post and not necessarily claiming that FI is wrong. I just wanted to shed some light on the counter-argument.

I think 5 games was fine. Maybe shoulda been the rest of the season if he had stepped on a white guy’s head.

[quote]tGunslinger wrote:
There’s a very vague line where sport ends and criminality begins. Of course, if you did this in public, you’d be charged. But then, every tackle of every football game would be considered criminal battery in public society.

I believe the courts hold that by participating in a contact sport, the athletes have accepted some degree of reasonable risk. There have been cases where in-game violence exceeds that reasonable risk (like the Marty McSorley case, as others have described), but it is still not a definate, well-defined line.

Was Haynesworth’s stomp really any different than a cheap shot to the legs that blows out an athlete’s knee? All agree that cheap shots are not a true part of sports, but they happen pretty regularly and yet they are not often prosecuted.

(It would be interesting if anybody could find out how many cases involving an injury that occured on the field of play have gone to court, and how the courts have ruled. I may be incorrect, and it just might be the case that very few athletes have pressed charges when they could have won damages in court.)

The athletic arena is a unique environment where physical violence that is considered criminal in public is a regular occurance. But what, exactly, is the line that seperates “dirty” from “criminal”?

In this case, it appears that Law Enforcement Officers agree with you that Haynesworth’s stomp crossed the line into criminality. That does not mean, however, that this action was a cut-and-dried crime. There is a valid argument that it does not belong in a court room, and should be dealt with solely by the NFL and the Tennessee Titans.

In either case, this action falls in the gray area between athletics and crime. Thus, it “borders on criminal”.

Note that I am mainly playing devil’s advocate with this post and not necessarily claiming that FI is wrong. I just wanted to shed some light on the counter-argument.[/quote]

I very much disagree, with all due respect. While criminal law is not my specialty (I do aerospace contracts), this kind of case does stick out in my head from law school and discussions with colleagues.

Yes, there is a certain amount of accepted risk inherent in sports and it varies by sport. What is acceptable in the context of a golf match is not on par with a boxing match.

However, there is a well-grounded area within the law of situations where an act goes outside the bounds of what is part of the accepted risk of the sport. Chop blocks and such, while dirty, are still a block as part of the game and if you do it, 15 yard penalty (at the very least). There is absolutely ZERO football reason for the removal of the helmet of a prone player and stomping on his exposed face. None. So in that situation, it really does not border on criminal… it is (as Irish said) criminal.

In terms of sheer numbers of these cases? Geez, that would be quite a search on Lexis or Westlaw. You would have to look this up in all 50 states and then look to which way those courts ruled. It would not be a short project… but if you want to pay me $300/hour to do so, I would be delighted to take on this project for you! :slight_smile:

Why the fuck doesn’t the players association give a rats ass about the guy who got his face stepped on?

[quote]MaloVerde wrote:
Why the fuck doesn’t the players association give a rats ass about the guy who got his face stepped on?[/quote]

Because it’s a Union, and like all unions, they will go to the mat to protect their accused/punished members regardless of the issue or crime. It is interesting that the union hasn’t mentioned anything about protecting the victim, who is a fellow dues-paying union member.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
MaloVerde wrote:
Why the fuck doesn’t the players association give a rats ass about the guy who got his face stepped on?

Because it’s a Union, and like all unions, they will go to the mat to protect their accused/punished members regardless of the issue or crime. It is interesting that the union hasn’t mentioned anything about protecting the victim, who is a fellow dues-paying union member.

[/quote]

Prior to my moving to the management side 4+ years ago, I was the local union president. There is no way in hell my Executive Board would have appealed this guys punishment.

The idea of unions is to ensure that everyone is treated equally, not to get members out of trouble they caused. I can’t believe the players association would want to set a precedent like this. Especially considering that the victim is also a member.

Unreal.