So why didn’t NFL commissioner Roger Goodell discipline Tyreek Hill?
Was Goodell extending an olive branch to the NFLPA when he decided not to suspend or fine Kansas City’s Hill because of the domestic abuse allegations he is facing?
I actually thought Goodell did the right thing because the prosecutors decided not to file charges, saying they couldn’t determine whether Hill or his fiancée abused their three-year-old son. Both said they used hands to spank him and belts to whip him but denied abusing him.
I think the NFL should let law enforcement decide whether to charge players. If they aren’t convicted of a crime, I don’t think the NFL should discipline the players.
Instead, they decided to have Hill undergo clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention, which is obviously a good idea since Hill seems to have anger issues. Hill will benefit from that more than he will from being suspended and/or fined.
And these issues aren’t new for Hill. He was kicked out of Oklahoma State for abusing his fiancée when she was pregnant and he pleaded guilty and got probation.
And then there’s the audiotape of Hill telling her she should be terrified of him.
That would have been enough for Goodell to take action in the recent past. Ever since he got all the flak for suspending Ray Rice for only two games before the video came out of him punching his now-wife in an elevator, Goodell seemed to overcompensate to avoid being accused of giving players a pass.
So why did Goodell not take more action against Hill?
It is always difficult to figure out why Goodell does what he does, and Pro Football Talk speculated the league is concerned that having star players sit out hurts the ratings.
While the ratings did decline in 2016 and 2017, I doubt the loss of any one player causes an across-the-board drop.
Since the players have been complaining the last few years about Goodell’s arbitrary moves and the CBA talks are starting, maybe he was trying to send a signal to the NFLPA that he can be reasonable and maybe even agree to let an independent arbitrator mete out punishment in the future.
Then there’s always the chance Goodell thought it was the right thing to do in this case, but in Goodell’s world, we always look for ulterior motives.
In any case, we can be sure of one thing: Hill better understand that he now has to take advantage of this second chance Goodell is giving him.
If he is involved in another domestic abuse incident, Goodell is likely to return to the way he was putting the hammer down on players post-Ray Rice.
Let’s hope Hill takes advantage of the evaluation he is going to get and learns to deal with his problems.
That is more important than anything he does on the football field.