Controversial Saints No-Call Puts National Spotlight on Value of Fairness

Sunday’s controversial no-call, in which fans allege cost the Saints an opportunity to advance to the Super Bowl, is now putting a national spotlight on the value of fairness.

Fair (adjective): in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.
Fairness (noun); ability to make judgments free from discrimination or dishonesty.

This week, Saints owner Gayle Benson said in a statement, “Getting to the Super Bowl is incredibly difficult to do and takes such an unbelievable commitment from a team and support from its fans. No team should ever be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field. As is clear to all who watched the game, it is undeniable that our team and fans were unfairly deprived of that opportunity yesterday.” She went on to say. “The NFL must always commit to providing the most basic of expectations- fairness and integrity.”

Two fan lawsuits filed Tuesday claim the NFL failed to handle the situation fairly.

“The impact of the non-call is egregious and demands recourse,” states the lawsuit, filed by attorney Frank D’Amico Jr. “As a direct result of the said incident, plaintiffs herein have been left bereft and with no faith in the National Football League for fairness despite the league’s own rules to correct such errors, along with emotional anguish (and) monetary loss for ticket holders, who purchase tickets with the presumption of integrity and fairness.”

Meantime, Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth noted the no-call wasn’t the only one missed in the game. “So, the reality is, where is the last foul that you want to argue? Whether it’s blatant or not is not a matter. It’s whether it’s a foul,” said Whitworth in this interview. “So, it’s just one of those things that’s a slippery slope.”

Questions to consider: Is fairness a personal value? Was the situation handled fairly? How should the situation be handled?  How has the controversy challenged or inspired you?