The NFL has been pretty busy handing out fines and suspensions… Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been suspended six games for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Irsay, a recovering alcoholic, was arrested on March 16. The Colts owner entered a guilty plea for one misdemeanor charge of impaired driving earlier this week.
Irsay said: “I acknowledge the mistake I made last March and stand responsible for the consequences of that mistake, for which I sincerely apologize to our community and to Colts fans everywhere. Even more importantly, though, I am committed to do everything in my power to turn this whole experience into a positive event for myself, my family, and the community. In retrospect, I now know that the incident opened my eyes to issues in my life that needed addressing and helped put me on the path to regain my health. I truly hope and pray that my episode will help in some small measure to diminish the stigma surrounding our country’s terrible and deadly problem of addiction.”
Boston.com reports that the NFL handed down it’s maximum punishment to Irsay. The Colts Owner was fined $500,000 and suspended six games. When Goodell announced Irsay’s suspension, he said that the NFL owner decided on the maximum punishment because owners and coaches should be held to a higher standard.
Goodell said: “I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players … We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard.”
Irsay will not be allowed to visit team facilities or attend practices for the next six games. He will also not be able to use the Indianapolis Colts social media accounts during his suspension.
Jim Irsay’s suspension has drawn mixed reactions on Twitter. Some thing that the NFL’s punishment was more than fair, saying that an NFL player wouldn’t have even received a suspension for a first time DUI offense. While others feel like the NFL should have really made a statement (especially in the light of botching the Ray Rice decision) against drunk driving by handing out a stiffer punishment.
Jim Irsay’s $500K fine is the = to fining a fan $13.24, based on the US median net worth of $45K.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 2, 2014
I don’t come away from the Irsay suspension thinking, “Wow, can you believe how hard the league came down on him?” Do you?
— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) September 2, 2014
Missing 6 games is going to kill his stats and really make it hard for Jim Irsay to make the Pro Bowl this year. — Peyton’s Head (@PeytonsHead) September 2, 2014
Jim Irsay is worth 1.6 billion so a 500k fine is basically like us paying extra for Guacamole, just an annoyance
— Cerrome Russell (@CerromeRussell) September 2, 2014
When you dig deep, the Irsay punishment is actually spot on. NFL did hold him to higher standard. Player would have gotten no suspension.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 2, 2014
What do you think about Jim Irsay’s suspension? Is this fair?