What, Meriweather was dirty on only one of those personal fouls against the Bears?
The league that supposedly cares about player safety had a chance to back it up. Here was a repeat offender, a recidivist idiot, refusing to change his game. Everybody knows how dirty and reckless Meriweather is. It couldn’t have been any more of a gimme.
The NFL failed. Choked. Which is no surprise, because that’s what the NFL usually does in such cases. But still, it’s no less infuriating. The NFL doesn’t know how to do the right thing because it doesn’t believe in player safety.
Unless you’re a quarterback, of course. The NFL is faking everything else.
If Meriweather had launched on Jay Cutler or Josh McCown twice Sunday, then he might be suspended until Christmas. But Meriweather launched on Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. They’re wide receivers. They’re not as valuable to the NFL’s marketing and money policy.
No matter that Meriweather was launching as if he had never heard of the rule. Launching as if he had never been flagged, fined or disciplined in any way for the same dirty act.
Except that Meriweather had been punished previously. Like, only a month ago. He delivered a dirty hit with the crown of his helmet that left Packers running back Eddie Lacy concussed. He used the crown of his helmet again in the same game, only this time he left himself concussed attempting to cheap-shot James Starks.
Meriweather was fined $42,000 because he is a repeat offender. That’s the league’s phrase. Meriweather actually is a recidivist, unrepentant cheap-shot artist. He has been an idiot on every team he has played for, including the Bears. He is a menace to the league when he’s on the field, and he is a menace to the NFL’s fraudulent claims of player safety concerns when he’s off the field.
How do you reduce this guy’s punishment to one game? How can anybody besides Meriweather’s agent argue the guy should have his sentence cut in half?
It’s ludicrous and embarrassing, and it would be a big deal if the NFL cared what people thought.
But here’s the thing; The NFL isn’t the only group of dopes involved in this. The NFL Players Association is a co-conspirator in this garbage.
The union has fought the idea of an 18-game regular season because it would impact player safety. The union negotiated a limit on padded practices because players only have so much to give before their bodies give out.
Fine, but then how to does the union support a punk like Meriweather launching at another union member with intent to injure?
Look, there can be no argument about the intent to injure. That act is aimed at accomplishing exactly that and only that. And the spineless players association does nothing. The union membership refuses to make a move as a group. If the players association is so concerned with safety, then stop looking like geldings when there is a nut flying around your own house delivering potentially career-ending hits.
Marshall called for Meriweather to be “suspended or taken out of the game completely.’’ Martellus Bennett told WSCR-AM 670 that “I still want to punch him in the mouth.’’
I like revenge as much as the next guy, but the sad conclusion is you’ll get that kind of angry talk but no action from the worst sports union in existence and its members.
You know what you get? You get Redskins teammate DeAngelo Hall ripping Marshall for “something you don’t do’’ and claiming no respect for Bennett for taking “a shot after the fact.’’
I expect these kids to happily come off as morons in defending the indefensible, but it’s unconscionable for the NFLPA to remain gutlessly silent on Meriweather’s act. Same goes for Ndamukong Suh’s regularly scheduled dirty plays. If you’re so concerned with extending careers, then start with your own stupid members.
But then, what do you expect from the only union too weak to get guaranteed contracts? In a sport that brutal, no less.
Cheap-shot artists such as Meriweather make it that much more dangerous, but the NFLPA does nothing. Weak and stupid is no way to go through a career, people.
Then again, if the NFL is going to let off idiots for bad behavior and the players association can’t control its own, then they seem to deserve each other, and both have lost the right to yammer on about player safety concerns.