“Free Sean Payton.”
That is the rallying cry for fans in New Orleans after Roger Goodell’s shocking decision to suspend Saints Head Coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012-13 season for his involvement in ‘Bountygate.’ In addition, the NFL commissioner fined the Saints $500,000 and took away second round draft picks in 2012 and 2013.
The ‘Bountygate’ controversy came at a bad time for the NFL; the league is trying to improve its image regarding player safety. While most observers expected punishments to be handed down as a result of the Saints’ bounty program, many were surprised at the severity of the repercussions. Jimmy Johnson, commentator and former NFL coach, took to Twitter to express his disgust about Goodell’s edict. Some think the NFL is getting soft. A writer from men’s lifestyle magazine Manolith expressed this sentiment:
The forefathers of the NFL are laughing about our pansy culture. The emasculation of the American male. It continues today.