The biggest NFL travesty this side of Colin Kaepernick involves a player and a crime so egregious that the league has suspended him indefinitely.
According to the National Football League, the player, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks, was harshly disciplined for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, a get-tough move from a cowardly consortium not generally known for enforcing accountability.
But before we do an end zone dance and celebrate the NFL’s new awakening, know this: Kendricks was sacked because he got busted for insider training.
Kendricks, 27, pleaded guilty over the summer after prosecutors said the defensive standout made nearly $1.2 million in 2014 from illegal stock tips he received from a Goldman Sachs broker in exchange for game tickets and $10,000 in cash.
This is what it takes to get seriously disciplined by the NFL. Not punching out your girlfriend in an elevator. Not strangling your girlfriend and threatening to kill her. Not firing a gun while arguing with a woman.
This is not to belittle insider trading. This is to belittle the NFL, which had already embarrassed itself by hitting Kaepernick with what is also, in effect, an indefinite suspension for peacefully protesting against injustice and racial profiling.
This is not to to excuse Kendricks. He’s an already-rich guy who cheated and stole to try to get more money.
“Four years ago, I participated in insider trading, and I deeply regret it,” Kendricks said in a statement in late August. “While I didn’t fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades, I knew it was wrong, and I wholeheartedly regret my actions.”
But here’s what Kendricks didn’t do. He didn’t wave a gun at a woman, or pull a woman by the hair, or kick a woman or punch a woman after the doors of an elevator closed.
After former Dallas Cowboy defensive end Greg Hardy was convicted of domestic violence charges in 2014, his 10-game suspension was reduced to four games after his ex girlfriend failed to appear before a jury Hardy had requested to hear the case.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended by the NFL in 2014, but only after surveillance video captured him knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Before the video surfaced, Rice was only hit with a two-game suspension.
Rice was reinstated after a federal court appeal, but no team has touched him since.
In 2015, then-Cowboys running back Joseph Randle had the police called on him for domestic violence with a weapon after an incident with the mother of his son. Randle was suspended four games.
And former Giants kicker Josh Brown was suspended for just one game after be was arrested in 2015 on a domestic violence charge. The NFL placed Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list after documents surfaced in which he admitted to verbally and physically abusing his then-wife,
There are others. Many others.
Each case makes it more than clear that the NFL is more concerned about protecting money, including its own, than it is about protecting women.
Kendricks will be sentenced on Jan. 24, when, based on federal guidelines, he could face up to three years in prison.
“My faith is unwavering as I continue to pray,” Kendricks tweeted Tuesday..