In a shocking revelation that sent shockwaves across the National Football League (NFL), Alvin Kamara, the running back for the New Orleans Saints, and Chris Lammons, the cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts, have been suspended for the first three games of the season.
This decision, issued on Friday, comes in response to their involvement in a Las Vegas brawl last year.
A Marked Absence
The suspension will see Kamara miss the Saints' home opener against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, along with away games against the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.
However, both players will be allowed to participate in the preseason and will be eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, September 25. The news has come as a blow to fans and team members alike, prompting Kamara to openly address the incident.
"Poor judgment on my end, definitely a bad decision, but I'm a man," Kamara said following a Friday practice. "I embarrassed the Saints, I embarrassed my family and my mother, I embarrassed myself, I embarrassed this city and the shield, obviously I embarrassed the NFL." Kamara had met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier in the week, providing his side of the story.
A Personal Toll
Beyond the professional implications, Kamara also opened up about the personal toll the incident and the ensuing aftermath have taken. "I'd be lying if I said it hasn't affected me," Kamara said. "It affected me last season.
It affected me every day. I lost a lot. I lost [money], I lost some friends, I lost some support from people." But in the face of adversity, Kamara expressed his gratitude for the support he has received from the organization, family, and friends.
He emphasized the necessity of owning up to his actions and the importance of personal growth. "It's just got to be a thing where I'm mature, take ownership of it and make better decisions."
A Team Unfazed
Despite the forthcoming absence of their star running back, Kamara is confident in his team's ability to keep moving forward.
He said, "I know these guys; that's kind of been the question mark, 'OK, well, is he going to get suspended, is he not going to get suspended?... Nothing is going to stop. ... I expect them to go and win for however long I'm suspended."