This Saints bounty scandal could go from bad to worst for the those players who were involved. The NFL Player’s Association has warned players involved that they may face criminal charges for their role in the bounty program.
According to an Associated Press report, the NFLPA has hired outside counsel for upcoming meetings with the league that will further investigate the role of specific players in the system. The league’s report said up to 27 players could have been involved in the team’s bounty system, but only linebacker Jonathan Vilma was named.
Most legal scholars agree that a prosecutor is unlikely to charge players for on-field acts. It’s rare, both because the legal system tends to allow sports leagues to police themselves and because such cases can be tough to prosecute.
“They’re difficult cases to bring, because it’s hard to prove the injury was caused by a tackle with specific intent to injure, rather than a regular tackle,” law professor Gabe Feldman told the AP when news of the bounty scandal broke. “We all know injuries are a part of football. There can’t be legal liability anytime there is an injury. Otherwise, you can’t have football.”
I’m no expert when it comes to law, but I think it will be hard to prosecute these players for hard hits when it’s a part of the game, as well as injuries. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of this story will play out, so stay tune.