A new scandal shows that a sport based on hitting and tackling in a league full of criminals may be just as barbaric as you probably imagine.
According to an NFL investigation timed perfectly to keep fans talking about football during the offseason, New Orleans Saints players were rewarded from 2009-2011 for inflicting injuries on opposing players that resulted in them being removed from a game.
Gregg Williams, the Saints' defensive coordinator at the time, has admitted and apologized for running a bounty pool of up to $50,000. "It was a terrible mistake," Williams said in a statement Friday night shortly after the NFL released the report. "And we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. We just hoped we wouldn't get caught."
Here's what football fans have been saying about this shocking story:
"Oh, the Saints... of course. For irony. Well played, Mr. Goodell." - P. Justice
"No way. If that was true, players would have been stabbed every other down." - T. Shay
"There is no way that professional athletes can be bought that easily." - S. Casstick
"But what if the play that knocked the player was, like, helmet-to-helmet? Wouldn't the league's fine be more than the thousand-dollar bounty? Is this just another example of coaches taking advantage of dumb jocks!?" - O. Vey
"I heard other teams Gregg Williams worked for will likely hear from the league soon... because the Titans, Redskins, Jaguars and Bills don't have enough problems already." - N. Solting
NFL coaches around the league have spoken as well:
"It's a disgrace. You're not supposed to tell players to cause injury. They're just supposed to know!" - Bill Belichick
"Knowing that a team in my division will penalized by being docked draft picks is the best thing to happen to my team since Cam Newton!" - Ron Rivera
"That makes no sense! You don't want to injure a bad player. You only want to injure a good player. What a stupid strategy!" - Rex Ryan