On Friday, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was charged with two counts of impaired driving following a March arrest. The NFL bigwigs have yet to officially weigh in on the matter but will likely soon discipline Irsay.
Former offensive lineman Eric Winston, now the new head of the NFL Players Association, said over the weekend that if commissioner Roger Goodell is truly concerned about protecting the league’s image, he needs to send a message when punishing Irsay.
“Owners own for decades,” Winston told TheMMQB.com’s Peter King. “Players, if we’re lucky, might play for a decade. If protecting the shield is the most important thing, and owners are the ones most responsible for the league’s future, the owners have to be held to a higher standard. So I don’t understand how we can be talking about comparing the punishment of a player to what the league might do to an owner. Owners should be held to the highest of standards. And I can tell you, players are watching. A lot of players are watching. This has been on players’ minds for quite a while.”
Goodell has a history of punishing players before the legal system runs its course, and has said in recent weeks that he would wait for more information on Irsay’s situation before making a decision.