The NFL have suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games of the regular season along with a $500,000 fine for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
The 55-year-old CEO pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour back in March, Irsay was pulled over at a traffic stop and subsequently charged.
The hefty punishment for the Colts owner comes off the back of comments made by NFL commissioner Roger Goddell after he explained that owners, management personnel and coaches are held to a higher standard than players in order to set an example of what will not be accepted in the league.
Not only will Irsay be suspended for the first six games of the Colts campaign but the $500,000 fine issued by the league is the maximum penalty that can be awarded under official rules.
The official action taken by the NFL comes only hours after Irsay was pleading guilty to a misdemeanour count of driving whilst intoxicated.
Irsay admitted under oath that his arrest in March was for driving under the influence of painkillers, oxycodone and hydrocodone. He was arrested not far from his home in Carmel, Indianapolis.
Irsay has had his drivers license suspended for a year, along with having to submit himself to drug testing and cannot drink or possess alcohol during that time.
Irsay released a short statement after the NFL announcement, he explained:
"I acknowledge the mistake I made last March and stand responsible for the consequences of that mistake, for which I sincerely apologize to our community and to Colts fans everywhere, Even more importantly, though, I am committed to do everything in my power to turn this whole experience into a positive event for myself, my family, and the community."
Consensus response to the penalties dished out by the NFL and Roger Goddell is that the NFL commissioner has been stern but fair in his dealing of a delicate issue surrounding an important figure in the NFL's owners unit.
Irsay will serve his six game suspension that will see him miss games against the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans.
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