In Minnesota, NFL=No Family League

Minnesota Vikings safety Troy Williamson lost his grandmother last week, and missed three days of practice and a game to attend her funeral.

Now it is announced that the Minnesota Vikings, who may have missed the message from the league office that the NFL was supposed to be family entertainment, have fined Williamson $25,588.24 of his $435,000 base salary.

When asked his take on the situation, that towering, cowering pile of jello Coach Brad Childress replied “”It’s really kind of out of my realm”.  Then, showing he knows on which side his bread is buttered, Childress came up with the decision is based on an organizational “business principle” .

I can see how the financially strapped Minnesota franchise wants to save money, I understand the need for organizational discipline, and I imagine the Minnesota franchise is determined to react more strictly to certain behaviors after the sexboat scandal of a couple of years ago, then the ticket shenanigans of former coach Mike Tice.

But this is ridiculous.  This is about the principle, not the money…because he still has the other 400K+ to fall back on.

Apparently the grandmother did die, apparently he did attend the funeral and was with his family. He told them he was going, they knew he would be missing practice and a game and they knew why-and they still fined him….and Vikes fans wonder why they are not considered one of the class organizations in the league.

You have a league riddled with players who beat their women, literally engage in murderous activities, drug abuse, steroid abuse, and often act as if they are above the law. They get to keep playing with nary a slap on the wrist. Let’s face it, Michael Vick and the PacMan are attempts by the league to get right with the public.

Then you have a player who does the right thing, the same thing most of us would do instintively, and the team fines him $25K? They should have found him a plane to fly him home and bring him back instead of fining him.

What kind of example does they expect to set? Did the Vikings think if they let Williamson go, other players would encourag their family members to die so they could cut practice?

Jerry Glanville said the NFL stood for “Not For Long” when castigating a ref. Some call it the “No Fun Leage” when it banned overexubrant TD celebrations.

I suggest that in Minnesota, at least, NFL stands for the “No Family League”, because any league that would fine a man for attending the funeral of a family member has no claim, no claim at all, on being family entertainment.

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4 thoughts on “In Minnesota, NFL=No Family League

  1. Why should he get paid if he didn’t work that Sunday? Heck, who wouldn’t want to paid for not working weekends!

  2. That is certainly one way to look at it…

    On the other hand, if you had actually considered the full ramifications of the situation, I think it is fair to say that most companies would allow salaried employees to have bereavement leave of some type to go to a funeral. That is from the “be nice” side of the discussion.

    From the practical side of the matter, More to the point, The Minnesota Viking management clearly does not know how to avoid a public relations disaster, don’t know how to capably write contracts, and in an era when teams are regularly catching complaints because they go easy on their players who break the law and just act badly in the community. This could have been a big public relations win for them…instead it will be a headache over an amount that is small change in the balance of a multi-million dollar organization.

    …and all this is before we get to the whole matter of team chemistry, and the addled response of Brad Childress. Bad moves all around the line by the Vikes mgmt.

  3. Willy,

    When my grandmother passed away in 2004, I took a week off from work to travel to North Carolina and assist with various aspects of cleaning up her house, handling her bank accounts, safe deposit box, arranging a funeral, etc..

    I was paid my salary for that week, and it wasn’t counted against my vacation, because the Credit Union where I worked paid bereavement. It’s normal in most businesses.

    Frankly, I don’t care two shakes about football, but if I did, I would start rooting against the Vikings just because of this.

  4. “No good deed goes unpunished!!” Shame on the Vikings as a whole. Even the terrible owner the Redskins have wouldn’t have done that to a player.

    Bwana Fan In Vienna

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