The NFL has long had a problem with players getting into trouble with that law. We all remember the major scandals of Ray Rice, Gregg Hardy, and Ray Lewis, as they were all national stories. One thing all of these incidents have in common, is that the players were reinstated to the NFL. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell has been criticized on many many occasions about his handling of player conduct and punishment.
When Ray Rice was caught on a hotel camera, cold cocking his wife and knocking her unconscious, Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games. That is less games than Tom Brady was suspended for suspicion of deflating footballs in playoff games. Ultimately the video of Rice was released to the public, and Goodell suspended Rice for an entire season, but it took the release of the video and a public outcry before Goodell actually punished Rice.
There are many players in the NFL today who have done some pretty nasty things, and some others who have acted outside the moral confines of the National Football League, however, the NFL and Roger Goodell are in the market of making money, not making model citizens. The NFL routinely allows criminals, cheaters, and simply bad people to participate in their game.
Today we will take a look at 15 guys who are in the NFL, who should be banned for life for their outrageous behavior. If the NFL had any real principles they would begin enforcing some stiffer penalties to their players who act out, but like we established earlier, the NFL is in the market of making money, not producing quality people. I am sure you may think that banning some of these guys for life might be a bit extreme, but if they NFL really want to clean up their image, they have to begin making some serious changes, and showing that negative behavior will not be tolerated.
15 Brandon Marshall
Since 2009 Brandon Marshall has been arrested five times. The arrests include three domestic violence charges and two DUIs. It is unacceptable for a league as widely admired as the NFL to have employees who have multiple domestic violence charges as well as multiple DUI offenses. If history repeats itself, the NFL will be in hot water if Marshall is charged again for domestic abuse, and the public realizes they took no action against him.
14 Rodney Austin
Austin is currently unsigned in the NFL, but he is eligible to play as soon as a team decides to sign him. In 2015 Austin was fighting with his then girlfriend, when he shoved her and their infant son to the ground injuring both of them. When his girlfriend called the police, Rodney took the phone from her, and smashed it to pieces. Incredibly, this story was never major news even though an infant was injured, I guess that goes to show how normal it has become for NFL players to act out in fits of rage against women and children.
13 Ndamukong Suh
Suh was voted as the NFL's dirtiest player a couple years back, and he has since been fined multiple times for illegal actions on the field. Suh once kicked a player in the crotch, he also purposely and aggressively stomped on a player while they were injured. Acts like this should not be tolerated, and Suh should be banned from the game for so many flagrant offenses. Suh is also the most fined NFL player since he arrived in the league, setting a bad example for younger players.
12 Letroy Guion
In 2015 Guion was arrested and later charged on multiple counts of drug possesion, as well as possession of an unregistered firearm. These counts don't sound all that severe relative to the current state of the NFL, but when you consider that Guion was in possession of 357 grams of marijuana, an unregistered gun, and 190 thousand dollars in cash it can be assumed that he was into some illegal activity. The NFL should have no place for drug dealers, who play football on Sundays.
11 Brandon Ivory
In 2015 Brandon Ivory and another man broke into a suburban Alabama home by kicking the door in while the residents where there. Ivory and his friend robbed the home for cash and electronics, while leaving the residents fearing for their lives. People that can commit such acts should be banned from the NFL without question, and there is no chance that the the former Texans rookie is regretting his decision after an uneventful 2015.
10 Justin Cox
While still in school at Mississippi State, Cox was charged with burglary, aggravated domestic assault, and trespassing. Yet somehow Cox still found himself on the Kansas City Chiefs, until news of his crimes came to light. He is now a free agent looking to be signed to another roster. The NFL should take a hard stance with Cox, and show what happens when NFL rookies come in to the league with a chip on their shoulder.
9 Richie Incognito
Incognito is widely regarded as a bully and a mean spirited person, but that alone is not enough to deserve banishment from the NFL. However, acts like the one he performed on ex-teammate Jonathan Martin are most certainly grounds for banishment. Incognito repeated harassed his teammate, and bullied him to the point where Martin felt in necessary to tell the higher ups. In other setting this behavior is ground for termination, yet in the NFL, Incognito was signed to another team immediately following the acts. With Incognito making the Pro Bowl last year, it looks as if the best way to make people forget horrible acts, is to play...really well.
8 Prince Shembo
Shembo is one of the more despicable people in the NFL. While in college Shembo was accused of sexual battery on a woman, with the woman later committing suicide as a result of the trauma. Shembo, as an adult, was recently charged with animal cruelty, after he killed his girlfriend's dog. Shembo's girlfriend left him with the Yorkie, only to return to her dog unresponsive. These acts should land Prince in prison, not on a football field.
7 Ray McDonald
Ray McDonald has been arrested four time in six years, with charges that include two counts of domestic violence (recurring theme here) - one in which he was accused of abusing a woman while she was holding a baby. Staying with the theme of babies here, his second domestic violence charge was in regards to assaulting his then pregnant girlfriend. How a man like this has a place in the NFL is mind boggling.
6 Josh Gordon
Gordon is an interesting case. He has been suspended by the NFL numerous times because of drug and alcohol charges. He spent the entire 2015 season serving a one year suspension for repeat offenses to the league's substance abuse policy. If a player is incapable of following the rules to the extent of that Gordon has, it seems fair to ban that player. Yet Gordon is scheduled to have his come back this season, and we shall see if he can finally follow the rules.
5 Adam "Pacman" Jones
Since 2005, Jones has had at least nine run-ins with the police. He has a history of violence, especially towards women, and additionally he has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. In 2007 Jones was accused of branding a gun at a stripper, and telling her he was going to kill her, all of this was after he struck her in the face. Jones' career hit a low in 2009 when no NFL team wanted to sign him, as a result he had to go play in the Canadian Football League for a bit. But of course, Jones performed well in Canada, and the NFL came calling again, now Jones is back in the NFL.
4 Aldon Smith
Since 2012 Aldon Smith has been arrested five times, including two times within a 21 day period in 2013. Charges include three DUI charges, a disorderly conduct charge, and a gun possession charge. Smith was an incredibly productive player with the 49er's but they were forced to let him go after these multiple arrests. Smith is currently with the Oakland Raiders, who decided to re-sign him despite currently serving a suspension going into 2016.
3 Michael Vick
Michael Vick committed heinous crimes against animals, and was found to be the leader of an organized dog fighting ring; Vick was found guilty in court and served his time in prison. When he was released he was immediately signed to the Philadelphia Eagles. Since returning to the NFL, Vick has been an upstanding citizen, however, his crimes were so severe that he should not have been allowed to rejoin such an exclusive club as the NFL. Although it is becoming more and more obvious that the NFL is not such an exclusive club after all.
2 Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson was found guilty of child abuse after he hit his son with a switch from a tree; Peterson spent the majority of the 2014 season serving a suspension for the acts. Peterson was reinstated last year and had a great season.
It is incredible that the NFL allows a child abuser to be one of the faces of its league, with "AP" being featured in commercials and promotional materials. Peterson showed little remorse for the actions when commenting on it, and he claimed that he was raised that way, so there is no reason he should not be allowed to raise his child the same way.
1 Greg Hardy
Greg Hardy was accused of abusing his then girlfriend, and threatening her life, which he now denies; He denied this even after pictures were revealed of the woman bloodied and bruised, allegedly from the hands of Hardy. In 2015 Hardy was suspended for four games for the actions, just four games!!!
Hardy has been extremely unapologetic regarding the incident. Last season the Dallas Cowboys signed Hardy, and owner Jerry Jones went so far as to call Hardy a leader for his team. I shudder to think what the NFL is becoming when violent, abusive, unapologetic men are the leaders of teams.