On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS December 10, 2012 # 414 Coming up next…”Under Appeal”?
After further review…So the story goes…after several verbal warnings by his mother, the teenage son (let’s call him “Sam”) continued to arrive home well past the agreed hour. Finally, enough was enough and Mom said, “Sam, you’re grounded for a week”. Perhaps as a parent or guardian you said the same to your youngster. Sam responded in protest, “I’m going to appeal”! Laughter could be heard throughout the neighborhood.
You’re gonna appeal? Yeah, right! To whom! What authority has jurisdiction over the rights of a parent in this type of situation? What about the principle of shared governance that guides many businesses and organizations? Should it apply to households? As an educator for more than three decades, it was my responsibility to maintain decorum and insure an atmosphere of order and discipline on the school grounds. The same was true during my 31-year career as an NFL referee. So discipline is in my DNA.
Regarding the NFL and its discipline of players, coaches, and officials, the issue of Ed Reed’s infractions and right of appeal is presently in the news. Reed, a Baltimore Ravens defensive back, was suspended by the NFL for what was deemed “repeated violations of the rule prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players”. The suspension was for one game. Reed would forfeit his single-game salary of $423, 529 and, if you’re doing the math, that’s about $7,000,000 per season. But, wait! The next day that decision was overturned and Reed was allowed to play for the Ravens the following Sunday, fined a mere $50,000. Looks like Reed won the Powerball for about $373,529!
The question here is neither about Reed nor his egregious on-field behavior, rather it’s about the process of discipline and one’s right to appeal. There are other NFL players currently “suspended” but still playing while awaiting their appeals to be adjudicated. So, “Sam”, guess you can continue your deviant behavior until someone (who?) considers your case. Sorry, mom! Your standards don’t count.
Nonsense! If an organization has an approved process for aberrant behavior of its players, coaches and officials, then all parties must accept the consequences of that process. The authority of that process should not be side-stepped. Reed seemingly avoids the issue by maintaining that the NFL is inconsistent in their treatment of other on-field safety issues.
Will you abide by the disciplinary measures in your workplace, knowing they are intended to be just and fair to all?