Saints Players Were Just Following Orders? That’s No Excuse

The New Orleans Saints bounty scandal seems to be a story with no end in sight. It’s been dragging on for some time now, with several twists and turns and numerous ‘he said, we said’ between the two sides. Those two sides primarily being the NFL Players Association and league commissioner Roger Goodell.

Today, another twist has sprung up as we have a report surfacing from the June 18 appeal hearing that, according to outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler, states that the Saints players, “simply followed what their supervisors directed them to do”.

Hang on a minute, I thought there was no bounty program. I believed that several of the Saints players allegedly involved were still waiting to see some solid evidence that points to them being part of a bounty program.

How about we presume there was a scheme run by the coaches that financially rewarded Saints players for injuring members of another team. So then yeah, those players were just doing what they were told, right?

Oh. That makes it okay does it?

Without trying to be too imflamatory (while at the same time doing just that), wasn’t that the exact same thing many fighters in armies said during war with regards to innocent citizens? ‘We were just following orders, boss’.

I thought football players were men. Real men. Men who had a brain of their own with some integrity.

I am sure, that if there was a bounty program in New Orleans, it would have been difficult to stand up and tell the coaches that you wanted no part of it. This might indeed be a sure-fire way of finding yourself sitting on the bench sooner than you would have liked. But stand up is precisely what someone should have done. Be it that member of the roster, or another coach. Someone should have made it impossible for such a scheme to carry on.

I am a firm believer that there is no smoke without fire. Even though there remains pressure on Goodell to provide some better evidence than has so far trickled out, I cannot imagine for one minute that the commissioner has concocted this whole story. What would be the purpose of that?

Goodell and the NFL big wigs are surely doing their best to protect their sources. The real reason why the players involved want to see more evidence is that they want to find out who ‘ratted’ them out.

Something happened in New Orleans. And by all accounts, it went on for some time before being smashed apart earlier this year.

But the simple truth remains; blindly following the orders of your superiors when you know it is the wrong thing to do makes you just as bad as those barking out the instructions in the first place.