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NFL Hand Stallworth Season-Long Ban

The National Football League have announced their decision to ban Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth for the entire 2009 football season after the star pleaded guilty to a drunk-driving death.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to Stallworth informing him of their verdict, outlining a violation of the league’s policies on substances of abuse and personal conduct as the reasons behind the severity of his ban.

“There is no question that your actions had tragic consequences to an innocent man and his family, and that you have violated both the Substances of Abuse and Personal Conduct Policies," explained Goodell in his letter, excerpts of which were made public by the league yesterday.

“Your conduct endangered yourself and others, leading to the death of an innocent man.” Goodell’s letter to Stallworth continued. “The NFL and NFL players must live with the stain that you have placed on their reputations.”

A charge of drunk-driving manslaughter was originally levelled at Stallworth back in June after he’d struck and killed a pedestrian while driving over the limit in Miami on March 14. Stallworth had originally pleaded not guilty to the charge and was set to face a sentence of between four and fifteen years in jail if convicted.

However, Stallworth changed his plea to guilty two weeks later and reached an agreement whereby he would serve two years of house arrest and perform 1,000 hours of community service. In addition to the agreement, Stallworth also reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the family of the victim, a 49-year-old crane worker named Mario Reyes.

Stallworth will now not kick a football until February 2010, where he will be reinstated to league following the conclusion of the Super Bowl.
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