This article was originally published on 6/18/2009 at PatriotsExaminer.com.
I’m not going to get into the ridiculous legal system that allowed Donte Stallworth to get drunk and kill a man, and yet only give him a 30-day stay in prison. The law is the law, as insanely stupid, unfair, and ridiculous as it is. Needless to say, justice was not even remotely served in this case.
I want to talk about Donte Stallworth's NFL career.
The former Patriot has been indefinitely suspended by Roger Goodell. The real length of his suspension will be decided after his prison sentence is up and he has a face-to-face meeting with Goodell, presumably to convince the Grand Poobah of the NFL that’s he’s really, sincerely sorry for killing that guy, so he should be allowed back in the NFL.
Goodell shouldn’t give a rat's you-know-what if Stallworth is sorry. No matter how much remorse, real or contrived, Stallworth shows, Mario Reyes, who was guilty of nothing more than trying to walk home from work, will still be dead.
Luckily for Goodell, this is an easy decision. Precedent has already been set, by Goodell himself.
Michael Vick was suspended for two years from the NFL for killing dogs. He may be suspended even longer if Goodell doesn’t believe he’s remorseful enough. If you stick with my “Man > Dog” theory (see my Patriots-Examiner%7Ey2009m5d22-Michael-Vick-has-paid-his-debt-to-society-NFL-should-reinstate-him-for-the-2009-season" target="_blank">Michael Vick article for details) then Michael Vick’s suspension should be the starting point for Stallworth’s.
For the record, PETA disagrees. Stallworth didn’t run over a dog, so as far as they’re concerned, he’s still a good person.
Stallworth, or his attorney, and the NFLPA are likely going to point to the suspension Leonard Little received for basically the same crime back in 1998.
Little, who had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 (which is more than twice the legal limit) crashed into, and killed, Susan Gutweiler. While the prosecutor in that case was far more harsh, handing down a sentence of 90 days in prison, the NFL let him off embarrassingly easy.
Little received, and served, an eight-game suspension for killing Susan Gutweiler.
The NFL has a chance to rectify that horrible decision.
Donte Stallworth should never see an NFL field again. He should be suspended initially for two years. Every two years he should be allowed to plead his case to return to the NFL, just so the commissioner can remind him that he’s a murderer who doesn’t deserve an NFL paycheck. Preferably in public, and in the most humiliating manor possible.
Make an example of this man. The NFL was all too eager to make an example of Michael Vick, and he killed dogs, not people. Stallworth killed a construction worker who had just worked a late night shift, and wanted nothing more than to get home so he could rest up for his next shift.
Again, "Man > Dog."
Mario Reyes is never going to play football again. He’s never going to do anything again. He’s dead. He’s dead because of Donte Stallworth. Stallworth should pay a price for his death, and that price should be his NFL career.
Well, technically, that price should have been a long prison sentence.
For a different perspective, check out this article by the SF Workplace Issues Examiner.
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