Senator David Vitter Criticizes Illinois Senator For Conducting “PR Stunt” Over New Orleans Saints “Bountygate” Scandal
Senator David Vitter expressed disappointment with his colleague from Illinois who met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the Saints bounty scandal. Senator Dick Durbin has said in the past that Congress should hold its own hearings regarding the "bounty" program in professional football. Vitter says U.S. Senators should have better things to do with their time.
I don't think the federal government should involve itself in pure sports issues to chase headlines, especially when we have a flat-lined economy and a scary $16 trillion debt crisis to tackle.
Durbin says he's no longer going through with plans to hold a Congressional hearing on the matter. After meeting with Goodell, he says he's satisfied with how the NFL is handling the situation.
Vitter says he stands with the Who Dat Nation and believes the federal government has more important issues to worry about than "bountygate".
I think we all want to move on from all this, sign Drew Brees, and begin our next Super Bowl run. And as much as we have been penalized this year, I think we have a real chance of that this year.
Vitter says this is a classic case of members of Congress chasing headlines by latching on to a big story. He says
he doesn't understand why a member of Congress would even got involved in the first place.
I don't think it's a productive way to use the U.S. Senate's time. I think the NFL can handle this. I certainly don't agree with everything Roger Goodell has done and I don't think getting Congress involved is gonna improve the situation any.
In March, the NFL punished the Saints and Head Coach Sean Payton for organizing a bounty system that financially rewarded defensive players for taking out opposing players. Additionally, current Saints players Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, as well as former Saints players Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove face suspensions that range from 3 games to a full season of suspensions.