Interesting story developing regarding the New Orleans Saints football team and their practice of offering “bounties” to their defensive players for hurting players of the opposing team badly enough for them to be taken out of the game. Allegedly, a player could earn $1500 for knocking a player out of the game and $1000 if the player had to be carted off the field. If these things happened in the playoffs then the “rewards” were doubled or even tripled. You can read more about this disturbing (even by NFL standards) story here.
The story is of particular interest in light of our current sermon series – “Faith @ Work” – in which we are reflecting on what it looks like for our faith in Christ to intersect with our lives in the marketplace. The passage of Scripture we looked at today was from 2 Thessalonians 3:13, where the Apostle Paul wrote regarding work and urged his readers to “never tire of doing what is right.” We talked about how this command should have a definite impact on both the quality of a Christian’s work and on his or her ethics and integrity on the job.
The story with the Saints reveals again the constant temptation in the workplace to take matters into our own hands, to do whatever works, to let the ends justify the means. It reveals just how low we are capable of going, how far we will stray from what is right in order to secure a few more wins on the field or in business.
These words from Gregg Williams, Saints defensive coordinator capture the problem well; “We knew it was wrong while we were doing it,” Williams said. “Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role.”
While his actions were wrong and he should and will be punished by the NFL, it is encouraging to hear Coach Williams’ acknowledgement of wrongdoing and his willingness to admit his mistakes. There is a way out of unethical practices in the workplace and it starts right there.