Judge: Please explain to the court what you saw.
Witness: Well, it was a pass play. Definitely a pass play. The quarterback threw it. The receiver caught it. He got hit and went down. Then a flag was thrown.
Judge: And the receiver was struck in the head by the defender?
Witness: That is correct.
Judge: And the defender led with his helmet and initiated contact with his helmet?
Witness: That is correct, your honor.
Judge: And was the man who contacted with his helmet the defendant?
Witness: Yes. The hit in question was made by the defendant.
Defense attorney: The court appreciates your testimony. I have a few questions: What did you think of the hit? What was your reaction to it?
Witness: Well, I thought it was a hard hit. But I felt uncomfortable about it being a hit to the head because I’ve heard so many bad things about the effects of head injuries over the long term. But I don’t think he meant to do it. He’s such a nice guy. He gave a kid his gloves once. He doesn’t get in trouble and he says all the right things. He’s on the highlight reels all the time and the men on TV say so many good things about him.
Defense attorney: So based on that, you can tell what an athlete’s motivation is on a given play?
Witness: Absolutely. This one time, the TV showed the defendant giving a really moving halftime speech. Another time, the TV showed how he gives back to the community. I can tell a person like that would never actually want to hit a player in the head. It had to be an accident.
Prosecutor: So it doesn’t bother you that this man is a repeat offender? That doesn’t change your view at all?
Witness: Oh no. I don’t think he wants to hurt anyone. It’s hard to do what he does. Sometimes people get hurt and it’s not anybody’s fault. That said, I think there are players who try to hurt people. The ones the TV says are bad guys. But the defendant is not a bad guy. He does his job right.
Prosecutor: That will be all.
Judge: Very well. The court finds the original verdict rendered against the defendant to be excessive. The original sentence of a one-game suspension is hereby overturned and the financial penalty reduced to $50,000. The court also finds that the NFL’s strategy of enforcing safety through disciplinary measures to be one based on a host of arbitrary and often contradictory factors, one of which being the reputation of the player being punished. That is a strategy also found in the NHL, were the NHL actually a thing. The court also finds that f*ck you, everything is f*cked.