The Minnesota Vikings have fined wide receiver Troy Williamson one games salary, which equates to $25,588, for skipping last week’s game to attend his grandmother’s funeral.
Williamson’s maternal grandmother, who helped to raise him, died last week in South Carolina. The wide receiver was responsible for many of the funeral arrangements and for helping family across the country fly back home, including some who are in the armed forces. He returned to Minnesota the following Wednesday, where he was notified that he was docked one week’s pay.
“He had a family obligation that he had to see to,” Vikings head coach Brad Childress said. “We sat down and talked on it before he left. … He had to do what he had to do. Everybody handles that differently. He had to do what his family situation called for.”
When asked for a response on the fine, Williamson said “I don’t care if they would have [taken] my pay for the rest of the year, I was going home. It wouldn’t have mattered to me.”
In today’s game when players are getting arrested almost weekly and the league and teams are constantly fining or suspending players for stupid and inappropriate acts, it’s disgusting to me that the Vikings would pull something like this. Fining a player for attending the funeral of the woman who helped raise him is just despicable and the fact that the Vikings are trying to justify it is even worse. Williamson has 45 days to appeal the fine, which he implied he will do through the NFL Player’s Association.
Commissioner Goddell, please do the right thing and make sure that Williamson does not lose his money for this honorable and selfless act.