NFL bounty payments were made by the Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and New Orleans Saints, according to news reports. Expect legal action, as well as fines, say analysts.
(AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)
A scandal in which US football players got rewarded for injuring opponents could have legal consequences, with prosecutors, players and even fans getting in on the judicial action.
By Sunday morning, four National Football League teams were linked to a "bounty" scandal that came to light in Friday's NFL announcement that New Orleans Saints defensive players were paid for "big hits" that took opponents out of play. "Knockouts" were worth $1,500 and "cart-offs" $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the NFL playoffs.
Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, said by the NFL to have orchestrated the Saints scheme, was on the coaching staff at each of the four teams.
The NFL, which is trying to improve its image in the face of lawsuits by former players over concussion injuries, is likely to mete out its own punishment against teams involved in making bounty payments, which could include suspensions, fines and restrictions on player recruitment.
But pieces of the scandal could well end up in the courts, say legal experts.
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