With word on Larry Johnson’s appeal of his suspension and/or settlement with the Chiefs expected this weekend or Monday, CBS Sports’ Clark Judge believes the NFL and NFLPA need to affirm the Chiefs’ reaction.
In essence, he insulted his head coach, the gay community and fans everywhere — which is pretty much how I would define “conduct detrimental to the club.” Although here I would expand his offense to “conduct detrimental to society” with Johnson making homophobic slurs at least once and maybe twice.
He later apologized, but by then it was too late. He said what he said, and he had to be punished and punished immediately. Fortunately, the Chiefs acted decisively, severely and appropriately. It’s about time someone put Johnson — as well as players throughout the league — on notice that this type of behavior cannot and will not be tolerated.
Now it is the Chiefs’ action that is under review, with Johnson working through an appeal of his two-week suspension. Here’s hoping that whatever is resolved, it sends a message to Johnson and the rest of the league that stupid sits when stupid does.
Hopefully, whatever the league and union resolve, Johnson will sit down at least one game. there needs to be zero tolerance for what he said and what he did. Otherwise, a precedent is set where players believe they can behave similarly without serious repercussions.
I don’t know what the Chiefs do with Larry Johnson in the future, and I don’t care. But I do know that what they did this week was right. They punished him when he dared someone, anyone, to tell him he was wrong. Well, you were wrong, Larry, and bravo for the Chiefs’ response. Hopefully the NFL and the players union will deliver the same message if and when they reach a compromise.
The initial decision, if there is no “settlement”, will be made by an independent arbitrator. Hopefully, no matter what he/she decides the league adds an additional penalty to Johnson and the NFLPA doesn’t cause a big stink. Not only were Johnson’s actions unacceptable, but he has shown a history of similarly bad behavior and that needs to be taken into account every step of the way.
That’s actually why I wanted the team to hand down an even stiffer penalty. Force an arbitrator, the league or the players association to publicly say what LJ did wasn’t as bad as whatever suspension he received.