April 3, 2008, - 1:55 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Over the years, I’ve been very critical of the NFL’s tolerance of off-field violence and criminal activity. Players arrests and convictions that would get us fired by any employer didn’t make a difference to their employers, the teams in the NFL.
But things are changing for the better.
One of the best things brought to the table by relatively new NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell is the far shorter line of tolerance for criminal activity and thuggery he’s brought forth.
While his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, constantly looked the other way as NFL players engaged in rape, murder (Ray Lewis), and other violent attacks, Goodell hasn’t. It would be great if Goodell banned violent and troublesome players like “Pacman” Jones. But, at least, he suspended him.
And today’s news of the Cincinnati Bengals’ release of repeat criminal Chris Henry from the team is also welcome news. This likely wouldn’t have happened under the Tagliabue administration:
The Cincinnati Bengals, deciding they have had enough of wide receiver Chris Henry’s run-ins with the law, released him on Thursday, hours after he surrendered to police to face assault and criminal damaging charges.
Henry, 24, was being held in the Hamilton County jail, pending a court appearance Thursday, after being charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal damaging. He is accused of punching an 18-year-old man in the face and breaking a window in the man’s car. A warrant for Henry’s arrest was issued Wednesday and he surrendered, a police spokesman said.
“Chris Henry has forfeited his opportunity to pursue a career with the Bengals. His conduct can no longer be tolerated,” Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement.
Henry, arrested five times since December 2005, was suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the first half of last season for repeatedly violating the league’s conduct policy.
Buh-bye, Chris Henry. And hopefully, buh-bye criminal thuggery in the NFL.
Tags: Chris Henry, Cincinnati Bengals, Commissioner, Debbie Schlussel, Hamilton County, Hamilton County jail, Mike Brown, National Football League, NFL, Paul Tagliabue, police spokesman, President, Ray Lewis, Roger Goodell, Tagliabue administration, wide receiver