April 3, 2008, - 1:55 pm

Bengals Release Repeat Criminal Chris Henry: Are the Days of NFL Thuggery Finally Over?

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.

chrishenry.jpg

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.

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16 Responses

Ray Lewis was innocent.
Anyway, I like how the new commish is putting his foot down.
[S3D: RAY LEWIS WAS DEFINITELY NOT INNOCENT. READ MY PREVIOUS COLUMN ON RAY LEWIS, WHICH I MEANT TO LINK BUT DIDN'T GET TO, YESTERDAY. IT'S NOW LINKED IN THIS POST AND CAN BE FOUND HERE:
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2001/01/sundays_super-c.html
DS]

Squirrel3D on April 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Ray Lewis was not innocent. The jury said so. Case closed.
As for the National Felons League, has anyone noticed the correlation between an increase in the number of black players and the criminal activity associated with NFL players? I have. During the 60′s when class players and class teams, like the Packers, played, very few, if any, players had tattoos and criminal records. Today, tats, Jamaican hair sticking out of the helmut, and childish tantrums on and off the field, are common place. Its disgusting. The fact that the NFL has turned off fans like me is the fault of the venal owners. If professional football disappeared tomorrow, I could care less. But what would all the black gang members do?

softwaregurus on April 3, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    this is for softwaregurus’ comment on April 3, 2008 at 3:41 pm.
    there are plenty of white football players who cause trouble in the NFL, the media just make the decision not to report on these issues with the same intensity. and if you are so disgusted with the NFL, stop watching. It’s racist people like you that make this world such a difficult place to live in. Ignorance is so blissful and you must be the happiest jacka– in the world.

    tired of dumb whities on December 22, 2009 at 12:21 am

To set the record straight–
Lewis pled to a lesser charge (obstruction of justice) in an agreement to testify against his alleged accomplices.
As it turned out, the accomplices were acquitted.
However, the Atlanta Police and DA believe that they had the right perps all along.
An acquittal or plea bargain surely does not equal “innocent.”

Red Ryder on April 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm

maybe he can sign with debbie lions, maybe they might makes the playoff and win a playofff game in 50 years, oh yeah fire matt millen

PNAMARBLE on April 3, 2008 at 4:59 pm

One more point–
I don’t think that the new get tough policy has as much to do with a new commish, as it does with the fact that fans are getting turned off with having all those thugs on the field. Especially, since people have lots more entertainment choices these days…
AND–there are also players like Tom Brady who may not be thugs, but are just jerks–a turn-off, as well.
Finally, the NFL TV product has gotten very boring, and almost unwatchable with the constant commercials and incessant stupid commentary.
They’re trying to fix all this.

Red Ryder on April 3, 2008 at 5:01 pm

On the commentary thing, this is why I listen to the game on the radio while watching on TV. It’s more detailed and more passonate. Thank goodness Gary Thorne is calling games on TV for the Orioles though.
Also, baseball is my favorite sport…so I don’t have a high interest in the NFL anyways. Hey Debbie…how’s the Tigers–oh that’s right, they start the season with no wins.

Squirrel3D on April 3, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Check out a book called PROS AND CONS IN THE NFL. It came out about 9 years ago or so. Shows the coddling of players that were troubled kids and adults with a nice array of teams. The Patriots were the only team around that didn’t employ felons.

samurai on April 4, 2008 at 1:16 am

This is a solid move because while the NFL is a business and needs some zany characters, it doesn’t need the stuff that’s going to make us choke on our hot dogs. The stadium dogs themselves are enough to make to make that happen.
JP – http://www.sportslice.net

JP on April 4, 2008 at 1:45 am

Getting rid of this one thug means the end of this? Never.Wait til next season – same old,same old.
P.S.softwaregurus, right on the( Politically Incorrect )money. That’s how it’s been in every sport,not to mention neighborhoods and cities(i.e. Detroit,DC,Atlanta,New Orleans,etc,etc )

OldSchoolW on April 4, 2008 at 10:30 am

At least the NFL isn’t wasting Congress’ time and money of bullshit investigations:)

EminemsRevenge on April 4, 2008 at 11:35 am

A Jacksonville, Fla., television station has obtained documents detailing Jaguars cornerback Brian Williamsí racist rant to police the night he was arrested in September 2006 on suspicion of DUI, News 4 Jax reported.
The police officer involved wrote in a report that Williams called him “Honky mother (expletive),” and said, “I (expletive) your momma … I (expletive) your wife twice.” Williams allegedly went on to say he would do something to the officerís daughter, News 4 Jax reported.
Williams apologized for his actions after the initial arrest, but recently withdrew the guilty plea he submitted after the 2006 incident.
That withdrawal allowed the arresting officerís notes to be made public. The officer said at the time of the arrest he did not know Williams had recently signed a multimillion dollar deal with the Jaguars, News 4 Jax reported.
The officerís report claims Williams told him, “You think I’m a drug dealing (expletive) looking for a gun?”
The officer stated Williams told him his car cost more than the officer would ever make.
Williams, his attorney and the Jaguars would not comment to News 4 Jax on the alleged comments.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,346152,00.html
Again, this poses the quesiton – to what extent is black racism a mainstream cultural value?

JasonBourne81 on April 4, 2008 at 3:38 pm

“Again, this poses the quesiton – to what extent is black racism a mainstream cultural value?”
Well one things for sure it’s not nearly as mainstream a ‘quesiton’ as white racism.

No Pasaran! on April 4, 2008 at 3:51 pm

No one who pays money to be entertained by a sociopath like Ryan Tucker has any right to complain about terrorism.

The Terrorist's Advocate on December 2, 2009 at 9:35 am

One down and so many more of his kind to go.

bcallen on December 19, 2009 at 6:55 am

Look what you did!! You Killed Chris Henry!!

Rip Chris Henry on December 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm

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