Integrity Shattered As NFL Undergoes Tanking Investigation

Jay Maxson | April 19, 2022
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Is the NFL too busy pushing social justice and LGBT agendas to police its teams’ ethics? This appears to be a valid concern after former Cleveland coach Hue Jackson accused the Browns of tanking. The league is investigating his charges. After his firing in January, former Miami coach Brian Flores also accused the Dolphins of pressuring him to intentionally lose games. 

Jackson (appearing in photo) claims the Browns incentivized him to lose games when he coached them from 2016-2018. He lost 31 of his first 32 games and was fired midway through the 2018 season, with a record of 3-36-1.  

Cleveland had a four-year plan for losing games in Jackson’s first two years, with bonus money offered for more losing after that, the former coach charged. The Dolphins fired Flores after he coached them for three seasons (with a 24-25 record). He has since accused their owner, Stephen Ross, of offering him $100,000 for each loss. 

Related: NFL-Style Diversity Excludes Whites, Minorities From Networking Opportunity

Cleveland got the NFL’s first overall draft picks in 2017 and 2018, as a result of having the league’s worst overall records those years. 

An NFL spokesman has acknowledged that former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White, of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, is leading an independent probe into allegations made by Jackson in February. “The review is ongoing and is expected to conclude soon,” the NFL spokesperson told Sports Illustrated in an email. 

Jackson said he told the NFL about a serious ethical breach by the Browns two years ago, and he doesn’t understand why the league is just now beginning to take action. 

“I told [owner Jimmy Haslam] that what he was doing was very destructive, to not do this because it's going to hurt my career and every other coach that worked with me and every player on the team,” Jackson commented two months ago. “And I told him that it would hurt every black coach that would follow me. And I have the documents to prove this." 

Jackson’s claims were backed up by his former player, Jason McCourty, who said of the Browns’ winless 2017 season: 

“There’s no way we were trying to win. It was very obvious. That is no surprise to anyone. You don’t need me to corroborate the story and say, ‘Oh yeah, we were tanking. We were trying to lose.’ Duh.” 

The Browns are pleading innocence while cooperating with the investigation. Their line is: “We welcomed an investigation, and we are confident the results will show, as we’ve previously stated, that these allegations are categorically false." They also claim Jackson previously recanted his claims about the team tanking. 

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said the NFL “needs to be incredibly concerned” about these claims. Miami and Cleveland owners need to be forced to surrender their teams if the allegations are true, Smith added. Smith also wondered if no white coaches were told to tank, then the NFL future of black coaches is ruined. 

John Buhler, of Fansided blog, said, “The league cannot have owners willingly paying coaches to lose games. Doing so would compromise the integrity of the sport. With gambling becoming an increasingly prevalent source of income league-wide, the NFL cannot let its product become a gimmick akin to professional wrestling.” Buhler also said that if it is proven teams tanked, their owners should lose their teams. 

While thousands upon thousands of NFL fans may potentially have purchased tickets for rigged games in recent years, the league has focused on ridiculous, woke priorities. 

Among them are supporting the LGBT agenda. Remember the league’s football is lesbian, gay, queer, transgender video? Remember Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations for the NFL, promising to personally help homosexual players come out of the closet? 

Social justice and Black Lives Matter have also been front and center in the stadiums, on players’ helmets and in NFL-sponsored PSAs. Commissioner Roger Goodell also apologized to radical former player Colin Kaepernick for not listening to his outrageous complaints about so-called American oppression and police brutality. 

So, the NFL potentially has a huge public relations nightmare in its lap, while it focuses on woke, frivolous priorities.