Many have felt that Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth may have got off easy after killing a pedestrian while driving drunk, but the NFL aren't so lenient. While Stallworth was sentenced to 30 days in prison and is on probation for awhile, the NFL suspended Stall worth for the entire upcoming season without pay.
"Your conduct endangered yourself and others, leading to the death of an innocent man," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to Stallworth released by the league according to NFL.com. "The NFL and NFL players must live with the stain that you have placed on their reputations. As you recognized both at and following the hearing, guilt or innocence as a matter of criminal law is not the same as a violation of NFL policies."
In response to Goodell's decision and his letter, Stallworth expressed his disappointment but urged fans not to judge or stereotype NFL players because of his actions.
"Commissioner Goodell called me this morning," Stallworth said in a statement. "Obviously, I am disappointed, but, as I said previously, I accept the Commissioner's decision. Regardless of the length of my suspension, I will carry the burden of Mr. Reyes' death for the rest of my life. I urge NFL fans not to judge NFL players or me based on my tragic lapse in judgment. I am a good person who did a bad thing. I will use the period of my suspension to reflect, fulfill my obligations, and use this experience to make a positive impact on the lives of those who look up to NFL players."
In 2008, Stallworth signed a seven-year $35 million contract with the Browns, hoping that he would take pressure off the team's star receiver, Braylon Edwards. Stallworth struggled with injuries during most of the season, so his contributions to the team were limited. He will lose approximately $745,000 in the 2009 season. Do you agree with the NFL's decision?