"Roger Goodell is all over the map on what he deems suspension worthy" - NFL fans call out league commissioner over suspension of Alvin Kamara

Divisional Round - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Divisional Round - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Thom Allison

Alvin Kamara's brush with the Las Vegas Police Department in January has largely flown under the radar this offseason, thanks to continued drama from Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns.

Ironically, it is because of Watson that his case is now front and centre of the NFL headlines. The New Orleans Saints running back is facing felony battery charges, relating to an incident in Sin City prior to last year's Pro Bowl.

Kamara and two friends were accused of a savage attack in which the victim was punched unconscious and left with a fractured eye socket.


With the running back due to stand trial in August, rumours started circulating prior to the weekend that Kamara would receive a six-game suspension, based on the league's personal conduct policy.

Though the NFL strives for a level of consistency when it comes to disciplinary matters, many fans believe they have failed miserably, with a process that is about as clear as mud. In light of the recent events involving Kamara, Watson and others, fans took to Twitter to voice their frustrations with Roger Goodell and the league:

One fan wasted no time in referring to Ray Rice's case, which occurred in 2014, when he was caught on camera knocking out his partner:

I’m not saying Kamara shouldn’t be suspended but Ray Rice got 2 games for this and Kamaras getting min 6?Goodell is all over the map on what he deems suspension worthy. Brady got 4 games for deflating balls and Ridley got a full season for betting while injured. It’s a clown job.…

Plenty of Saints fans believe their team is treated unfairly by the NFL, and hence the reason for Kamara's six-game suspension:

@JoeHornsPhone They always penalize the New Orleans Saints harder then anyone else. Sean Peyton got a year,
How much you want to bet Kamara misses more games than DeShaun Watson. @NFL & @nflcommish really hate the @Saints and New Orleans. It wasn't just about @SeanPayton.…
@JoeHornsPhone He always gave us harsher penalties than anyone else. I can't stand that commissioner.

Others felt the need to educate Saints fans about some of the details surrounding Kamara's case:

@JoeHornsPhone Kamara stomped the guys head when he was on the ground. Could have killed the man. He deserves 6 games. At least.

The lack of transparancy and consistency was a real issue for many:

@JoeHornsPhone Not wrong. There is no rhyme or reason to how they decide this and that is the problem. Make it make sense @nflcommish.
@JoeHornsPhone no consistency at all

Obviously, it wasn't long before the Deshaun Watson case became a topic of discussion:

If Alvin Kamara is getting 6 games and Calvin Ridley got a year, Deshaun Watson should be suspended at least 2 years
If Alvin Kamara is suspended 6 games for beating a dude up, Deshaun Watson should be suspended 4 seasons for victimizing 24 women.
Per NFL ruling, if Kamara gets a 6 game suspension for 1 assault charge then Deshaun Watson will get a 144 game suspension for his 24 assault charges right? #Saints…
Ray Rice Press Conference
Ray Rice Press Conference

The Ray Rice case and the policy overhaul that followed has effected the Alvin Kamara decision

In 2014, Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, was caught on camera assaulting his then fiancé. She was knocked unconscious as a result of a single punch, and Rice then dragged her limp body from the elevator.


Rice was charged with aggravated assault, however entered a program for first-time offenders, and the charges were dropped. He apologised during a press conference arranged by the Ravens, during which the team tweeted out the following:

"Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident."

The tweet was later deleted. The former Raven was given a two-game suspension, and when questioned about the decision the following month, Goodell gave this response:

"I take into account all of the information before I make a decision on what the discipline will be. In this case, there was no discipline by the criminal justice system. They put him in that diversionary program."

The NFL was soon defending itself against a tsunami of criticism from all quarters, and four weeks after Goodell had defended the punishment, the league introduced its personal conduct policy and suspended Rice indefinitely. The running back successfully challenged that decision in court, but has been blackballed by the league ever since.

The NFL changed its policy after the Ray Rice case and as a result all players going forward have been subjected to harsher punishments. This includes Kamara, who will miss the first six weeks of the season.

Edited by John Maxwell


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