Roger Goodell holds Tom Lewand to a higher standard

The notion that club executives are held to a higher standard than players when it comes to the NFL’s personal conduct policy just rang true. Loud and clear.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has come down on Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand for his arrest this summer on suspicion of drunken driving. Lewand, who pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of impaired driving in Michigan court, was suspended for 30 days today and fined $100,000. Wow. Players watching this situation closely can rest easier now. Goodell is applying the letter of the law across the board.

“You occupy a special position of responsibility and trust, and -- as you have publicly acknowledged -- your conduct must be consistent with someone in that position,” Goodell said in a letter to Lewand that was publicly released. “As we have discussed, those who occupy leadership positions are held to a higher standard of conduct that exceeds what is ordinarily expected of players.

“I commend you for your candor, your willingness to accept responsibility, and your publicly-stated recognition that this incident affects the reputation of the Lions and the NFL.”

It is fair to say that a player receiving a first-time DUI bust – one that resulted in a lesser charge – would have received a much more lenient punishment. League employees are probably taking note of this and Lewand will serve as an example for them.

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