In the month of December the NFL had intentions of suspending both of these men and three other players on the New Orlean Saints. The reason for the suspension was because they violated the leagues banned substance policy. The substance they were taking called StarCaps contained a banned diuretic that contain a substance called bumetanide. Bumetanide, can be used as a masking agent for steroids and has been found in StarCaps, though it is not on the label. Pat and Kevin were able to avoid their four-game suspension last December when a federal judge issued an injunction to block the suspension.
Players Battle NFL in Court
In court attorneys on the side of the players argued that the NFL’s hotline for players to get information on such issues as band substances, gave out false information about the supplement (StarCaps), and told players it was not banned. The Williamses attorneys also argued that league knew the supplement called StarCaps contained a banned diuretic back in 2006 and did not notify players or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
NFL attorneys disputed that idea by saying their hotline operators warned players against taking any supplements. Attorneys also added that in the end players are ultimately responsible for what they put into their bodies.
Judge Sides with the NFL
On Friday May 22nd U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled in the NFL’s favor for most of the claims filed by both Minnesota Viking players Pat and Kevin Williams. Pat and Kevin did bring up good points about how the NFL’s hotline did not inform them of problems even though the league did know of problems with the supplement. But in the end the judge sided with the thinking of players being responsible for what the put into their bodies.
What is a Hotline for if Not to help Players?
Now that we have those details on the table I would like to share my thoughts on this battle of the minds. Honestly I’m the type of guy that 9 times out of 10 will side with management over regular employee’s any day. In my mind I think employees are some of the whiniest people in the world, when it comes to rights and what not. But I have to side with the big boys from Minnesota on this one. I believe as a business owner you should always run your organization to help your employee’s succeed and become more efficient. With this goal in mind your product can improve and become better with time.
In athletics today we place a high importance on not cheating the game and playing it the right way. Back in the old days football players did not train year round in football alone. Heck they did not make enough money to just play football, as they had other jobs and would work in the off-season. But in today’s NFL, football is all the players do year round. Lifting weights, practicing and watching game film are their lives. In this life style sport supplements are a part of the culture. The NFL in my mind took the easy way out in this case by playing the, “in the end your responsible” card. When in this situation they knew of problems with StarCaps and yet did not give their employee’s at the hotline any specific info on their discoveries on this supplement. This is a clear case of setting your business and employee’s up to fail. Then when it fails you do not want to take accountability for the failure so you let others (the players in this case) take the heat.
Fantasy Football Ranking if the Williams Boys are Suspended
Hopefully the NFL will be satisfied with winning the case and not suspend the players for this incident. But in reality the odds of no suspension are very slim in today’s NFL. Look for Commissioner Roger Goodell to dish out the original suspension of 4 games in the coming months. This loss will really hurt the Vikings as the Williams boys are the heart and soul of their defense. But in the end the Viking couldn’t play a more cream puff schedule in the first month as they will play the Browns, Lions, 49ers and Packers. Now don’t get me wrong the Packers game is a big one with out the tag team of “Pain” and “Destruction” not in the lineup. But beyond that the other three games are a walk in the park. Go ahead and move the Vikings defense down from the middle rounds of your fantasy draft to the early later rounds. I believe this suspension may even work out in the Vikings favor as their two big men will have less wear and tear by not playing in the first four games of the year.