Your stance on Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is confusing.
Tuesday, Irsay made his first public appearance since being arrested with around $29,000 cash and numerous bottles of prescription drugs, which were so abundant that Irsay had to place them in a laundry bag. Factor in the fact that he was driving a Toyota Highlander while under the influence of a controlled substance, and that would be a triple whammy for most NFL players and coaches as well.
The report did not state what type of pills were found, but it did say they are Schedule IV drugs. This includes Xanax, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, and Ambien. He now currently faces four felonies for possession of a controlled substance. And just days before his arrest, Kimberly Wundrum, his 42-year-old female “acquaintance” overdosed on prescription drugs in a home purchased by Irsay.
This happened two months ago and there’s still no word on if and when any disciplinary action will be visited upon him. This stinks of hypocrisy and elitism to no end.
Roger Goodell has accepted the mantle of the NFL’s long arm of the law and has dished out a plethora of stiff penalties to NFL players during his stint as commissioner. However, when it comes to Irsay, Goodell seems willing to treat his addiction as if it’s a medical issue rather than misconduct. Why else would he allow Irsay to attend spring meetings and tend to NFL-related business?
Why has it taken you so long to dish out a punishment? Understandably, such a matter is without precedent in the NFL, so we are aware that there is some hand-wringing going on at the league office. But two months? Really?
The NBA, by contrast, moved swiftly to address the racist ideology spewed by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. TMZ released the audio tape of his ramblings on a Saturday and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had a press conference to ban the offending owner two days later. The Donald Sterling affair was unprecedented, yet quick and precise action was taken. The Jim Irsay incident is unprecedented as well yet, thus far, you have done absolutely nothing.
You haven’t even released a statement on the matter. It was recently revealed that Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon may be suspended for the entire 2014-15 season due to failing a drug test for marijuana. Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis is facing a four-game suspension next season for testing positive for performance enhancing substances. The Colts, as you know, are the very same team that Irsay owns. So this all smells of irony.
Perhaps Irsay’s billionaire status has something to do with why the Indianapolis Police Department didn’t recommend he be charged with possession with intent to distribute. Had a Black or Hispanic NFL player been caught with 29Gs and a bag full of prescription drugs, he would still be incarcerated with an enormous bail amount sitting over his head.
And then there's the current assault charge hanging over the head of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. The NFL has also failed to speak out on that affair. However, it is easy to see that the league is awaiting the legal outcome before rendering their own discipline.
On the other hand, Jim Irsay’s situation is about as cut and dry as it gets. But still no word from you, NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell is in a bind. And sooner or later, you’re going to have to come down hard on Irsay.
Money is nothing for a billionaire, so anything short of a $50 million hit would not hurt. Yes, $50 million. None of that $2.5 million crap the NBA dished out to Donald Sterling. Also, suspending him for a portion of the season doesn’t really hurt either. Whatever the punishment, quick or slow in its approach, it needs to be a veritable knockout punch.
So c’mon, NFL. Show the players you aren’t a bunch of elitist blowhards who, in practice, treat their players as high-priced human pets. Show equality. Lower the boom on Jim Irsay.