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Here's A Fairly Logical Solution For Dealing With The NFL's Violence Epidemic

Listen closely NFL executives, because I am about to tell you how to run your business.

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In case you have been living under a rock, the National Football League has been under fire after they couldn't effectively discipline one of their star players, Ray Rice, after he was caught on video knocking his then fiancé in an elevator.

The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has, by most accounts, completely mishandled the entire situation with Ray Rice and, the league has several high profile acts of off-field violence by players under investigation by law enforcement.

Most recently, the Minnesota Vikings' running back, Adrian Peterson has been indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child; the Minnesota Vikings are letting Peterson play through the legal proceedings.

1. If a player is arrested or indicted for any crime, he is immediately suspended with pay from the league and all organized team activities.

Via Flickr: daveynin

This would apply to everything from minor infractions all the way up to extreme acts of violence.

The suspension doesn't seem to necessarily hurt the player all that much as they continue to get payed, meaning the NFLPA is more likely to agree to this proposal. This is a means of incentivizing the individual teams to do a better job of managing their own players behavior while also forcing them to avoid the messy situation of fielding someone in the midst of a criminal investigation because they are too valuable to leave off the roster.

2. Players remain suspended without pay as long as there are charges pending against them.

Via Flickr: bz3rk

I know what you are saying, NFL owners, coaches and general managers, "You mean I have to bench my stars for potentially months or years and still pay them if they maybe did something that's against the law?"

That's right, that is what you will have to do. The players have the right to a presumption of innocence no matter how damning the evidence is against them. If they want to fight the charges in a lengthy legal battle, you are on the hook to provide what you promised them when you signed them to that seven-year deal.

In order to prevent teams from just cutting players to get around their commitments, the NFL would need to create a new player designation similar to the injured reserve. For argument's sake, let's call it the Pending Legal Reserve. This designation would only be given through the league office and not by the individual teams.

3. If a player is found guilty of a crime, he is banned from the league without any compensation for the duration of his court-mandated punishment. His team would be given the option of revoking his contract.

Via Flickr: usnavy

No matter the sentence, you are out of the league until you have fully completed that sentence to the satisfaction of the court. That means, if you just have to pay a fine, you can immediately return to your team once you have paid the fine. If you are sent to prison for 15 years, you can return playing upon your release, but good luck with that.

4. In addition, the league and the individual teams reserve the right to issue supplementary fines and suspensions to players found to be guilty of crimes.

Via Flickr: philiprobertson

That's right owners, all that money you had to shell out to that guy who is now sitting in prison? You can ask for it back and the guy sitting in prison is contractually obliged to give it to you.

5. If a player is not found guilty of a crime, their suspension is lifted and they can immediately return to their respective team.

Via Flickr: mrlaugh

When all is said and done, all parties involves -- the league, the team and the player -- have an important role in promoting good behavior. No one bears the full brunt of the punishment, no body is forced into to making messy PR decisions and there is no opportunity for special treatment based on a player's star quality. This system is automatic and unambiguous.

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