Updated 6/19/09 3:00 p.m.
Donte Stallworth has been suspended indefinitely from the NFL because of his DUI manslaughter conviction.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Donte to hang up his cleats Thursday afternoon in a strongly worded letter, NFL.com reports.
“The conduct that led to your conviction plainly violates both the Personal Conduct and Substances of Abuse policies,” he wrote to Donte. “Either provides me with full authority to take appropriate disciplinary action against you, including a fine or suspension without pay, and to impose appropriate conditions on your continued participation in the NFL.”
Roger did decide to suspend Donte without pay. Until he makes a final decision on the full extent of the player’s punishment, Donte isn’t allowed to visit Cleveland Browns stadium, and he can’t participate in any activities with the team.
The commissioner leveled this punishment days after Donte pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter. As part of a plea deal in his case, the wide receiver was only sentenced to 30 days in jail and his license has been permanently suspended.
Once he’s released from lock down, Donte will have to serve two years under house arrest. After that, he’ll be on probation for eight year and he’s ordered to complete 1,000 of community service.
The DUI charge stems from an accident in Miami on March 14 when the wide receiver struck and killed a pedestrian. Police found that Donte had a blood alcohol level of 0.126 at the time of the crash. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08.
Many decried the leniency of Donte’s sentence, calling it a slap on the wrist. Consequently, Mothers Against Drunk Driving had been putting pressure on the NFL to impose a harsher punishment on the now-suspended player.
"Putting [Donte] back on the field would probably send the wrong message to his fans and to the rest of the NFL players who have chosen to make bad decisions and drink and drive as well," M.A.D.D. president Laura Dean-Mooney told ABC News. "We want to see that the punishment [fits] the crime.”
M.A.D.D. has also turned down a $225,000 donation that Donte offered them as part of his settlement. The organization said it couldn’t accept the money because they don’t agree with the terms of the plea deal.
– Sonya Eskridge