Gregg Williams, the architect of “BountyGate”, the orchestrated plan put into effect by New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton and Defensive Coordinator Williams to intentionally injure opposing players to get them out of games and to pay cash bounties to players successful in inflicting those injuries, has returned to the NFL. Payton served a one year suspension for his misdeeds, and was then welcomed back to New Orleans as the prodigal head coach. Williams was given a similar one year suspension, but was fired by the Saints. He spent last season as a consultant for the Tennessee Titans. But now he is signed and sealed as the new Defensive Coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.
his guys, before a game against San Francisco, to go out and intentionally inflict serious injuries to Frank Gore, Alex Smith, and others:
At a time when the NFL has put on a public face of accepting the realities of the serious nature of football injuries, especially brain injuries, it is depressing to see a member team re-hire Williams, especially in a position of responsibility.
In reality, the NFL’s response to such injuries has been half-hearted. Yes, they have taken steps to reduce future injuries with various rule changes designed to protect quarterbacks and receivers in particular, but these and other actions of the league are rather suspect. Rules changes aimed at reducing injuries are also unquestionably for the additional (or primary?) purpose of reducing league and team liability to the injured players. Last year, the league entered into a settlement with former players who had suffered serious brain injuries, but that settlement was rejected by the Court as being woefully insufficient to cover the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and the loss of earnings and earning capacity that had been suffered by the thousands of injured players.
|Also, as I documented in detail back in August (“NFL and Other Leagues Seek Exceptions From California Injury Laws“), NFL lobbyists succeeded in arranging a significant change in workers’ compensation law, done for the sole purpose of baring injured players from obtaining disability payments, medical care, and rehabilitation services through workers’ compensation, which NFL teams, generally being self-insured for such things, would have had to pay out of their tax-exempt pockets.|
The “BountyGate” episode was quite likely the worst disgrace in the history of the NFL, and on a par with baseball’s Black Sox Scandal. It is a disgrace that both Payton and Williams were not banned for life from the league, and it is an affront to fans in St. Louis and across the country that the Rams would rehire Williams in such a position of authority as their defensive coordinator, giving him a position of power to inflict his ill-conceived and downright disgusting values on a new group of players. Even if he is silent on the subject, it is not a stretch of the imagination to think that some big, strong, immature player may want to earn brownie points with Williams by showing just how horribly he could maim an opposing player.
There is no place in sports for Greg Williams.