07/29/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
In an NFL that seems like no matter what a player does off the field, as long as he can perform on the field some team will sign him, it was nice to see the New Orleans Saints go the opposite way when they released Junior Galette.
Despite the fact that Galette recorded 22 sacks over the past two seasons. Despite the fact they had just signed him to a four year contract worth $41.5 million dollars in September. Despite the fact the Saints will have to eat $17 million cap hit over the next two seasons. None of that stood in the way of the franchise making the right decision to cut Galette, and that's the way it should be.
Galette was arrested in January for allegedly injuring a woman while trying to force her out of his home. A video also surfaced last month from 2013 that shows a man who appears to be Galette hitting a woman with a belt during a scuffle on a beach in Florida. The charges against Galette for the January incident were dropped. And his attorney has stated there is no actual proof it is Galette in the beach fight video. But for the Saints, enough was enough.
These incidents came to light after Galette had already raised the ire of Saints management and some of his teammates. Some in the organization felt that once Galette got his big contract and was named a team captain, he didn't play up to the level that was expected from him. Or even at his level prior to his new contract. Galette had fingers pointed at him for the Saints defense's free fall last season. His mouthing off got him criticized by both current and former teammates, and he got into at least one fight with a teammate. Galette may also face discipline from the NFL for the two incidents as well.
It's nice to see a franchise man up finally. It's nice to see a professional sports team say it doesn't matter what you can do on the field, violence towards women outweighs that and you should be rightfully punished for your actions. Sure, more than likely some team will sign Galette before the season starts and he'll get a chance to play again. Because it's been documented more than once over the past year that any discipline dished out by the NFL doesn't really hold any merit (see Hardy, Greg). Maybe this will be the start of a trend that needs to happen? Maybe other franchises in all professional sports will start weighing what a player does off the field more so than what he does on the field? Let's hope so. So kudos New Orleans Saints for doing the right thing. Here's hoping it's the start of a revolution that eliminates the connection of professional athletes and domestic violence. Because enough is enough.
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