Originally Posted by Chip R
I see where you are coming from and you have a valid point. I'm sure that's the way it used to be. Individual clubs meted out discipline how they saw fit. But the NFL isn't a Mom and Pop business like it used to be. But, while you may not care about perception, you would be in the minority. As much as people admire these athletes, they also want to see them punished for their misdeeds like any other person would be. Of course the legal system is there to punish athletes but we all know that no matter how guilty they are, they often buy their way out of a conviction. So the American sporting fan wants someone to punish them and perhaps it's fairest if the actual entity running things is the one who lays the law down rather than the individual clubs.
Interestingly though, wouldn't you agree that peoples' desires to see athletes punished usually are based on what team they play for? It's a funny thing: teams they root for or like, fans will do a lot to justify not deserving much of a punishment (if any). Teams they hate... amazingly their judgment is suddenly of a very high moral fiber.
I think if allegiance were stripped from the equation entirely, which I suppose is next to impossible, that most people would be rather indifferent on punishment. It seems it's when likes or dislikes come into play is when people suddenly start caring.