Every now and then, I have the pleasure of stumbling across an exceptionally well written piece that clears the air around an issue and let’s me see the problem for what it is.
In the piece linked above, Florio essentially concludes that Williams may be able to redeem himself in the future, but Florio questions whether Williams should even be given the opportunity to redeem himself at all.
“And so, notwithstanding any desire to allow Williams to become the NFL’s latest example of redemption, the league can’t afford, literally and figuratively, to allow any coach who would encourage players to dispense concussions to continue to be exposed to players. Williams may have some other place in the NFL or with one of its team. But, from a liability standpoint, it would be foolish for the league to allow Williams to return to a locker room, a meeting room, or a sideline.”
Bravo Mr. Florio, bravo. Not only do I agree with virtually every facet of the piece, I adamantly agree.
Gregg Williams has said that he is not the type of person that would purposefully injure someone, and many coaches and players that have worked alongside Williams have come to his defense, but I can’t in good conscience believe every word of it. The bounty program installed by Williams wasn’t a one-year endeavor with regrettable consequences. It was a years long process, and there was no regret from anyone involved until the entire house of cards came tumbling down. That’s not remorse over what you did. That’s remorse over getting caught.
I really have nothing against Gregg Williams. His former players love him, and he’s been highly regarded around the NFL until very recently. That being said, the NFL can’t be the first organization to let him back on the sideline. Maybe the NFL should encourage him to seek employment with another league or in college football for awhile, but they need some assurance from his actions that he won’t re-institute any program intended to take other players out of the game.
Everyone deserves a second chance, but the NFL has to be careful how they give Williams his second chance. He should spend some time outside the NFL to gain back the owners’ trust and the fans’ trust. After all, it’s for those people that he’s working for, and it’s those people that need to be able to trust him if they want to put their future faith in him.