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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Let's review:

    Bernie reports that he received a seemingly threatening voice mail from Rams' executive Samir Suleiman (to BM's credit, it appears he didn't make this up).

    Rams announce that Suleiman will receive a reprimand.

    Now, as an initial point, one must ask - why did Bernie feel the need to report this? Certainly, its not newsworthy (other than for tabloid value, that is). Certainly, Bernie could have simply reported the matter to the Rams privately (perhaps he would have enhanced his relationship with the team if he had done so). But, true to his nature (making himself the story whenever possible) Bernie ran with it.

    But, now that the story is apparently concluded, am I the only person who thinks there's something missing here?

    Let me put on my lawyer hat for a moment. There is a common law theory recognized in most jurisdictions which is called "negligent retention." Essentially, if an employer learns that an employee has potentially dangerous propensities, and retains him or her nonetheless, it can be held liable in negligence for any subsequent harm caused by that employee.

    Because of the existence of this theory, employers will typically protect themselves by terminating employees who show violent tendancies.

    The Rams apparently are not taking this measure with respect to Suleiman.

    This begs the question... why not?

    The most logical answer is that the comment - though ill advised and inappropriate - was not intended to be threatening. Maybe it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Maybe it was a sarcastic comment.

    Certainly, Bernie won't shine any light on this, as he would look foolish for running and reporting about the message if it was just a bad joke. I doubt his buddies at the PD will illuminate this question either.

    But, I have to say... I'm having a hard time believing that Suleiman would be retained if he truly intended to express a serious threat (either of violence, or figurative "back stabbing") to another person in the organization.

    Something is definitely missing here.


  2. #2
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    I agree AV. There is a jump to assume that the reason for the reaction is that the message CONFIRMED the TRUTH of the story. It may be the opposite. It may be that the reason for the violent reaction was that the guy who left the message was pissed because someone was TRYING to cause trouble.

    Who knows what happened, all i know is that this stuff has nothing at all to do with the fact that we cant tackle on special teams.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    all i know is that this stuff has nothing at all to do with the fact that we cant tackle on special teams.
    That's for damn sure!

  4. #4
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    What's a lawyer hat?

    Seriously though, Bernie is a self-promoting twit. No news is good news without Bernard in the story!

  5. #5
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Maybe they're getting their ducks in a line, or conferring with the league office, or conducting an investigation rather than hastily firing the guy. In other words, he may get fired or penalized further after a complete investigation.

    How can you can say this is not Newsworthy. If an executive of a plumbing company threatened a journalist covering that company - it would be news.

    I don't understand how you claim it's not newsworthy? An executive of a NFL Team threatening a journalist or his source - a journalist that covered the team!

    And to question as to why he didn't report it privately - he's a journalist !! Nothing keeps these guys in line better than the light of day. If you were reporting a dirty cop, would you call the cops (his district) and leave it at that. Printing it is the best way to avoid a coverup and bring about corrective action.

    Is there any evidence that he was saracastic? If so, why didn't the Ram's ORG in acknowledging the messages where left - state that. It would certainly have been in the interest of the Ram's Organization to state sarcasm (or kidding) if that was the case, but AGAIN, the RAM's said no such thing.

    .

  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    If Suleiman is fired in the next few weeks, I'll then be able to take the story at face value.

    But let me ask you this, Tony. If Suleiman is not fired, and receives a mere slap on the wrist, wouldn't that suggest that perhaps the message wasn't as big a deal as Bern-ME would have us believe?

  7. #7
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Maybe they're getting their ducks in a line, or conferring with the league office, or conducting an investigation rather than hastily firing the guy. In other words, he may get fired or penalized further after a complete investigation.
    But how much of an investigation would it really take?

    Shaw: Hey Samir, why'd you leave that message with BM?
    Samir: Cause I'm a gosh darn throat slasher!
    Shaw: You're fired.

    ---OR---

    Shaw: Hey Samir, why'd you leave that message with BM?
    Samir: It was just a joke that BM blew out of proportion.
    Shaw: Oh ok, well don't do it again.


    This isn't a grand CIA cover-up requiring Senate hearings. It's one dude leaving one message.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  8. #8
    GameTime Guest

    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Its interesting that this comes within the same week that Martz bans a local news radio station KFNS from his press conferences. Martz is starting to look pretty silly here in st. louis. I love the guy and back him 100%, but its becoming difficult to defend him. KFNS is the number 1 sports radio station in stlouis right now. I fear that if the Rams are not successful this year, that he could finally be on his way out! Then I ask, who would we get to replace him? I dont want to think of what our options would be.

  9. #9
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    I agree. I didn't know the Rams had made a statement saying he was reprimanded.. So that's probably all that'll happen to him. If I was Samir, I'd be telling the press or writing on a web-site that it was sarcastic.

    I agree with you, if only a reprimand - probably less than advertised.

    .

  10. #10
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Quote Originally Posted by GameTime
    Its interesting that this comes within the same week that Martz bans a local news radio station KFNS from his press conferences.
    Turns out that report was not true, according to John Hadley on his website.

  11. #11
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    This isn't a grand CIA cover-up requiring Senate hearings. It's one dude leaving one message.
    Hubison,

    See my previous post that I was unaware; however, how long does it take the league to announce penalities when someone (and they have an appeal process) tests positive for drugs??

    Using your example, the guy collecting the pee would tell the guy to take 6 weeks off. We know as simple a subject as contents of urine have appeals processes and it takes them at LEAST a week to announce the penalty action. Matter of fact, the teams wait to here from the league how long a player is out.

    So, I don't know what processes the league has for threats of violence. If the National Media, made it a big deal, Tagliabue would get involved - I know that much.

    .

  12. #12
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Soprano
    Hubison,

    See my previous post that I was unaware; however, how long does it take the league to announce penalities when someone (and they have an appeal process) tests positive for drugs??

    Using your example, the guy collecting the pee would tell the guy to take 6 weeks off. We know as simple a subject as contents of urine have appeals processes and it takes them at LEAST a week to announce the penalty action. Matter of fact, the teams wait to here from the league how long a player is out.

    So, I don't know what processes the league has for threats of violence. If the National Media, made it a big deal, Tagliabue would get involved - I know that much.

    .
    But how much say does the league have over team executives. Sure there are rules governing the players and coaches, but wouldn't the team itself have the responsibility of governing all non-football personnel, such as Suleiman? Maybe not, but I would think so.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  13. #13
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    I don't know .. (you got me). I figured the league was overwrought with rules.

    .

  14. #14
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie, negligent retention, and the missing piece to the Samir Suleiman story

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    If Suleiman is not fired, and receives a mere slap on the wrist, wouldn't that suggest that perhaps the message wasn't as big a deal as Bern-ME would have us believe?
    Not really. Maybe it just means the Rams don't think this was enough for a guy to lose his job over.
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  15. #15
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    On the other hand

    If Martz or Miklasz has his throat slashed this year, the I guess it means he was on the level.

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