Guilty Or Innocent? Perception Is All That Matters In The NFL

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Oct 5, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Georgia State Panthers running back Travis Evans (21) gets wrapped up by Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) and defensive lineman Brandon Ivory (99) during the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans cut undrafted free agent defensive tackle Brandon Ivory on Thursday, one day after he was arrested and charged with burglary. The team said they would gather all facts and relevant information, and they moved fast to decide Ivory’s fate after the charge.

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As expected Ivory maintains his innocence, as expressed through a quote from his agent, via Tania Ganguli of

"“I spoke to Brandon he is not guilty and his name will be cleared of all charges,” Ivory’s agent, Jeff Guerriero, said in a text message Wednesday."

This piece is not about whether or not I believe Ivory is guilty, because I have no relevant facts whatsoever. What makes me wonder is what kind of a slippery slope is the NFL going down when guilt and innocence no longer become the deciding factor, but rather public perception.

Aug 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) smiles during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The league botched their handling of the Ray Rice video when the former Ravens running back hit his now wife in an elevator. The league decided Rice carrying an unconscious woman from an elevator was worthy of a two game suspension.

However, when video came out of what happened in the elevator, the public outcry forced NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to cover his own behind and Rice was quickly removed from the league, and still has had no sniffs.

Even the criminal harboring owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, had the audacity to claim he was far too sanctified to bring someone like Rice in. So Kraft (who is insanely too close to commissioner Goodell) went on the record to say he would never allow someone with a domestic violence charge to play for his team.

Yet for Kraft he was ok with Albert Haynesworth who stomped a guys face, Donte Stallworth who killed a man while driving drunk, Aaron Hernandez who was well known as a problem child before being found guilty of murder, Alfonzo Dennard who assaulted a police officer, and Aqib Talib who has been accused of fist fighting teammates, assaulting a cab driver and firing a gun at his sister’s boyfriend (but hey, the boyfriend was a bad guy).

Next: Why Guilt Doesn't Matter