December 19, 2014

Editorial: Bounty-gate

The St. Louis Rams aren’t even close to starting their 2012-2013 season, and there is already controversy surrounding the NFL team. Among a laundry list of hindrances, including negotiating renovations to the Edward Jones Dome, how to deal with the second overall draft pick, and possible relocation, new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been added to a sundry of mishaps with the football team.

Williams has come under fire for his actions as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints. While with that team, Williams has been tied to offering cash bounties to his players if they made a hit that took an opponent off the field on a stretcher. He has not been found guilty yet by the NFL, but if he is, there will more than likely be penalties.

The Journal knows that football is a very aggressive sport, one of the most violent in all athletic contests. Players hit hard and, even with all the protective equipment, someone is going to get hurt. The Journal feels offering rewards to players for purposefully injuring an opponent is unsportsmanlike and highly unethical.

While The Journal knows this may not be such an uncommon practice, it needs to end. Football already has the image as a rough sport, and an incident such as this only tarnishes the game. Williams did have rewards for other defensive feats such as pass deflections and interceptions. The Rams hired Williams because of his successful track record with defensives (the Saints did win a Super Bowl under Williams’ tutelage). They more than likely weren’t aware of his other “accomplishments” after bringing him on to the team.

The Rams need someone who will help shape this team into a championship contender once again. Williams may be that guy, but The Journal asks if his practices are worth the risk.

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