Despite Embarrassing Situation, Brandon Spikes Should Not Be Punished For Video Scandal

FOXBORO MA - AUGUST 26: Michael Hoomanawanui #86 of the St. Louis Rams scores a touchdown as Brandon Spikes #55 of the New England Patriots defends on August 26 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

As you've probably heard, Patriots inside linebacker Brandon Spikes has been involved in a video scandal, involving him and another woman and a website called Chatroulette.  That's as far as I'm going with this one, as like I've said, you've probably heard the story by now.

Originally, I opted not to report on the situation.  But upon further thinking, I think something needs to be said.  While what Spikes did was embarrassing, stupid, and immature, he did it while at his college days.  The video was before he turned pro.  But according to NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello, the league is "looking into" the Spikes situation.

Really?  Could the situation affect the league's image.  I suppose.  Is there anything Spikes did wrong since entering the league itself?  Absolutely not.  Had the video turned up while he was playing at Florida, he could have subject to their disciplinary system.  But because it turned up when it did, he was not.  That still doesn't mean he should be punished for something that by the time he entered the league, was 100% out of his control.

What I wouldn't be opposed to is Spikes having a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.  After all, Goodell has to protect the league's image, so meeting with Spikes is probably a good idea, to ensure that type of thing wouldn't happen again (although I doubt it would anyway).

I also want to point out a weird double standard that Spikes is being held to.  Brett Favre had allegedly sent out inappropriate pictures and text messages to a Jets employee during his stint with the team in 2008.  While his sexual harassment (and I should point out that Spikes did nothing of that sort), was during his time in the league, and would therefore make him subject to the NFL's disciplinary system, it doesn't seem that the league is doing much about it.  Mike Florio of also offered his two cents on the Spikes/Favre double standard:

But with the league acknowledging that it's "looking into" the videotape created by Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes before he even entered the league, several of you raised with us a very good question -- is the league also investigating Favre?

In Favre's case, he was employed in the league at the time the alleged conduct occurred, and the alleged target of it was an employee of the Jets when it happened.

So we asked NFL spokesman Greg Aiello about it. And here's what he said, via e-mail: "One can assume that we look into everything that is relevant, whether we say so or not. This is not a confirmation of anything."

Frankly, the league would have no choice but to look into it. If true (and we're not saying that it is), the allegations could amount to an actionable case of sexual harassment. Some may be confused, however, by the league's willingness to acknowledge an investigation of some players but not others.

Of course, I don't want to overreact to the Spikes situation just yet.  However, if punishment is handed down to Spikes, there will be something seriously wrong.

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