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By albaNY Hawker
Since there's not much going on in the NFL realm, except for the Combine in Indy and a smattering of signings/releases, the item getting the most buzz on talk radio stations is this recommendation from a group of current players to the Players Association for a "Three Strikes and You're Out" personal conduct policy.
Much like world peace and a cure for hunger, everyone is getting in line to say what a great idea this is, because speaking out against it would make you look like an idiot. However, all the talk radio pundits are putting their own spin on what exactly would constitute a "strike" and how the league and the NFLPA could legislate such a rule.
Some suggest that a player would only receive a "strike" if convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony, and that it would be unfair to count a "simple arrest" against them. I'm not sure which world they're living in, because in my world, there's no such thing as a "simple arrest," and any law-related infraction suffered by me or any of my coworkers would certainly be frowned upon, and most probably lead to dismissal.
For my money, the players have hit the nail right on the head, and this doesn't have to be as difficult as everyone is making it out to be. The rule should simply state, any situation that involves an NFL employee, the police, illicite drugs and/or alcohol, violence and/or weapons would constitute a strike.
You see, the problem for the NFL is not that it's players are getting arrested, the image problem is that there are far too many incidents involving the items listed above, that are extremely distasteful to John Q. Public, and his disposable income dollars. And also note that the rule should apply not only to players, but to coaches, front office and league employees as well.
Using some of the recent Seahawk issues as examples, the following would constitute "strikes" under this plan:
* Bryce Fisher's domestic violence arrest
* Sean Locklear's domestic violence arrest
* Ken Hamlin's Pioneer Square incident
"Wait a minute", you may be saying, "Fisher and Locklear were cleared of those charges, and Hamlin was the victim."
But that's exactly the point of the Three Strikes Rule, which is allowing for the possibilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or experiencing a dramatic error in judgement once, and maybe twice. But if it happens three times, it's no longer an accident, it's a behaviorial pattern.
I'm sure the Vikings and Packers wish this rule was established to save them both the embarrassment of taking a shot on Koren Robinson.
The NFL Players have spoken out because they are all getting painted with the same brush by a small group of irresponsible knuckleheads, and they're sick of it. The rest of society does not routinely excuse repeat offenders and anti-social behavior from its employees, so why should the NFL?
Sure it might seem severe to give someone like Hamlin a strike for getting his head caved in, but the next time he and his posse decide to go to an establishment that the front office has explicitly warned about staying away from, maybe he'd be more concerned about risking his livlihood than he was about risking his life.
Lord knows that something needs to be done to encourage guys like Adam Jones to find a new entourage, and Tank Johnson to find a new hobby!
[Comments taken in SeahawkBlue Forums]