Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay reached a plea deal in his impaired driving case a few days ago, and the wheels were set in motion for an official punishment from the league. Irsay has a serious drug problem, and his off-field exploits have caused many to point fingers at the double-standard in this league when it comes to punishing owners and punishing players for violating the law, especially when drugs are involved. Many fans wanted to see the hammer hit Irsay, even though we’d all like to see him get past his drug issues.
Per a source close to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the NFL has fined the Colts owner $500,000, and they have also suspended him for six games. It’s a sizeable punishment handed down by the league given that Roger Goodell technically works for the owners, but it’s a punishment that Irsay deserved. The fine is a drop in the bucket, of course, but the six-game suspension is comprehensive and deals with practices, games, and social media. So yeah, your favorite tweeting NFL owner and breaker of last year’s Trent Richardson trade will not be allowed to tweet about football for the first six games.
Irsay’s suspension won’t really affect the Colts product on the field, so the punishment is fair when you look at the statement the league is making against him. Not only is his punishment significantly higher than the one a player would get (six-game suspension compared to none), but they are also showing others that they mean business when it comes to owner behavior. He pleaded guilty to one of his misdemeanor charges for impaired driving, but this is likely where his league-handed punishment ends for now.