Like many Americans, we’ve had a soft spot for the Saints since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They were underdogs and it made us root for them until we learned of the recent bounty scandal that went on for years under the knowing watch of their head coach, Sean Payton. It has tainted our view of their wins and made us wonder how a Saint feels getting blood money for putting a fellow player on the injury cart.
The bounty idea is dumb for a multitude of reasons but at its core it undercuts the concept that a true athlete should ALWAYS perform to their full potential because that is WHO THEY ARE. Not because they’ll receive an additional $1K for hitting an opponent who has to get carted off the field. What if the till was dry? Does that mean no one is trying to win or have the backs of their teammates? If this is how coaches have to motivate players–money–then l its time for new coaches and players. The US Military does not pay soldiers to take out the enemy because they already know they are part of a team and try to BE ALL THAT THEY CAN BE for less salary than these players make in a game.
At this point in the scandal, most people are debating whether the one year suspension for Coach Payton was too harsh or just right. But we are left wondering which ones of the potentially 27 players involved in the scandal can sleep at night knowing they took blood money to hurt others in the league. This is not Rome and even Gladiators fighting for their own lives had a code of conduct not to wound or kill needlessly.