Steelers MMQB: Should players like Ward and Harrison be punished for “violations” of the personal conduct policy during the lockout?

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As the players took another step closer to putting this labor mess behind us all and voting to recertify as a union, the issues of the
personal conduct policy remain to be bargained as they couldn’t have been decided on until the union had reformed.  Goodell is waiting in the wings to drop the hammer down on the players that he will decide effed up enough to draw punishment.  Will Harrison, Ward, or Mendenhall receive any such punishment?  Is it even fair to punish players for actions or situations that occurred during the lockout?

As Steeler fans, we are no fans of Roger Goodell.  Most fans of the NFL that have actually been paying attention shouldn’t be fans of Roger Goodell.  Well, maybe New England fans because he’s their favorite.  Either way, Roger Goodell shouldn’t be cheered for anything anyway.  The longest “work stoppage” in league history occurred under his watch.  But, like him or not, he alone holds all the power in the matters of punishment.  From several accounts, this was one aspect of his and the owners position in the negotiations that he was not willing to bargain.  Before Goodell we had Ray Lewis running around stabbing people with no discipline.  We can’t have that, there’s no telling how high the body count would be by now.

The Steelers had a very busy offseason in the media, filled with Ward donning various costumes and winning a mirror ball trophy, to Mendenhall’s misguided and misinformed tweets, and Harrison’s now infamous interview for Men’s Journal.  Steelers fans await word to see if any of those players will be forced to sit for the very important Game 1 in Baltimore on September, 11th.  Would it be fair to punish any or all of them?

If the players were locked out of the NFL, the owners did not intend to honor their contracts, why would they be subjected to a personal conduct policy that applies to NFL players? They weren’t representing the NFL, they weren’t representing their teams.  These men were all independent members of a trade association lodged in a labor dispute with the NFL.  I don’t like to say the words “free pass” but I’m kinda thinking they all get one.

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Topics: Hines Ward, James Harrison, Rashard Mendenhall, Roger Goodell, Steelers

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  • JennMT

    Big fan!! Looking forward to reading more!! @Kimmy_kimKimM

  • SmarterThanYou

    Agree with everything except your shots at Mendenhall. It’s clear you, like so many others, choose to ignore what it is he actually said and instead insist he said something he didn’t.

  • lynnsreality

    Excellent commentary. Missed reading you during the summer. Can’t wait for your weekly blow by blow. You are always spot on.

  • Kimmy

    I admit I did take some shots at Mendenhall, however, I did read everything he said and I don’t feel like I insisted he said something he didn’t. I think you might have misunderstood what I said, I was stating that he shouldn’t be punished.

  • Kimmy

    @lynnsreality

    Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting on here on Mondays and Thursdays, enjoy!

  • SmarterThanYou

    I see that you stated he shouldn’t be punished, but I still don’t think you understand what Mendenhall was trying to convey in his tweets. You, like many others, let your righteous indignation get in the way of understanding what he meant. He wasn’t showing sympathy for bin Laden, he was talking about mankind as a whole. I understand where he’s coming from. I didn’t celebrate the death of a man when bin Laden was killed. I celebrated the end of his ability to terrorize people. Can you see the difference?

    As for the 911 Conspiracy stuff, I disagree with him, but there are tons of 911 conspiracy theorists out there. I simply dismiss them, as most people do. If that’s his opinion, disagree with it all you want, but don’t you dare challenge his right as an American to express it. Steelers player or not, it doesn’t matter. We are Americans first and foremost, and the Constitution guarantees us the right to express our opinions.@Kimmy

  • Kimmy

    @SmarterThanYou

    It would be pointless to go back and forth about his comments. The point that it sparks the debate here proves my point that they were controversial statements. I propose we leave the politics out of it and move on to good old fashioned football talk.

  • SmarterThanYou

    That’s a cop out. “Controversial” or not, he did nothing illegal or immoral. He did nothing wrong. But jumping on the Mendenhall bashing bandwagon satisfies your need to feel superior so float on…. @Kimmy

  • Kimmy

    Woah…take it down a notch dude. I’m not trying to feel superior at all. I didn’t jump on any bandwagon. Just because I feel the same way a lot of people do doesn’t mean I didn’t make up my own mind about what he said. I’m also willing to let it go, move on on from it and not hold anything against him at all.

  • SmarterThanYou

    The fact that you feel the same way a lot of people do shows that you didn’t take the time to really examine what he tweeted. Because a lot of people simply read & react without putting any thought into it. You can keep justifying your position, but just as you’ve done with Mendenhall, my opinion of you will not change. I can move on too, but I will always know that you are just another person who has an opinion on something they didn’t put much thought into. Peace. @Kimmy

  • Kimmy

    @SmarterThanYou

    That’s where you’re wrong, you are assuming that because I feel a certain way I didn’t put any thought into it. I put a lot of thought into my opinions, even if it’s just to end up agreeing or disagreeing with someone. Maybe I didn’t clearly state that while I disagreed with what Mendehall said, I didn’t think it would be right to turn him into a pariah for it. I’m not condemning him for his comments like you are doing with me. Twitter is a dicey thing for athletes who want to discuss hot topics like that, he’s not the first to realize what you say on there could impact your fans in ways you didn’t intend on. Fans have the right to cheer for him on the football field but not follow him because they don’t care to know his opinions on certain topics. We have that right just as he has the right to his opinions. Not everyone likes their football with a side of politics. I hope you give my blog a chance, it’s not all going to be cheap shots at Mendenhall lol. Either way, Go Steelers :)