[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the NFL announced the suspension of four players for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program:
“Today’s announcement by the NFL is a positive step that shows that the League is taking seriously the issue of bounty programs,” Durbin said. “I have spoken with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and I will meet with him in the coming weeks to discuss additional steps the League is taking to address bounty programs and player safety. I will continue to work with the other major professional sports leagues, and their players and coaches, to ensure they are doing all they can to protect the safety of their players and the integrity of their sports.”
According to reports, New Orleans Saints team members were rewarded for purposely injuring opposing players in a bounty program that spanned a number of seasons. In March, the NFL announced the suspensions of the team’s head coach, defensive coordinator and general manager for their involvement in the bounty program. The team was also fined $500,000 and lost second-round draft picks for two years.
Also in March, Durbin announced that he would investigate the issue of bounties in sports. Additional details will be announced following further meetings with league officials.