Sports Outside the Beltway

Tank Johnson Suspended One Game

Chicago Bear’s Defensive Tackle and Friend of the Chicago Police Department Tank Johnson has been suspended by the Bears for One Game

The Chicago Bears suspended Tank Johnson for one game Tuesday, deciding not to cut the troubled defensive tackle, who’s been arrested three times in the last 18 months.

Johnson will miss Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions as punishment for being at a bar last week, when his friend was shot to death. The incident happened less than 48 hours after he was arrested on misdemeanor weapons charges.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said the team had two options: to release Johnson or suspend him. The decision was made, Angelo said, after discussions with the NFL, Bears management, coach Lovie Smith and players.

“Collectively, as an organization — ownership, coaches, players, myself — we all agreed that the right thing to do was to keep Tank and keep working with him,” Angelo said of a decision that will certainly draw criticism.

“We know we’re vulnerable going forward. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m 100 percent on board and trust all the things that we’ve talked to Tank about,” he said.

Ok, I need someone to explain something to me. How is it that an employee of an organization gets arrested 3 times in 18 months, is put on probation for carrying a handgun without a permit and is not fired, or in this case cut from the team and suspended from the league for “X” number of games?

This is another case in point why the NFL has lost complete control of the players in their league. Coaches cannot coach these men and the league officials certainly do not scare the players with $10,000 or $20,000 fines.

In order for the league to take back control of these players it needs to do three things:

  • Institute a Three Strikes and You’re Out Policy. Just like in drug testing, if you are arrested three times you are banned from the league for good. Each arrest comes with suspensions and fines.
  • Institute fines against the teams for their actions. For example, for the previously mentioned incident you fine the Chicago Bears $2 Million for the actions of Tank Johnson. This automatically puts the burden on the team to institute strict off the field policies with its players.
  • Increase Fines and Suspensions. A fine of $35,000 for Terrell Owens spitting in the face of a fellow athlete is a joke. If we are going to pay these athletes hundreds of millions of dollars then let’s fine them that way as well. I assure you that if Owens knew his “spitting” incident was going to cost him $500,000 he would refrain from doing it.

I understand that the NFL is a business and they make money by have players on the field but at the rate they are going there is not going to be any “outstanding players” left for the fans (myself included) to want to come and watch. If something is not done now, then we are going to see a major drop-off in fan support of the NFL.

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