As controversy surrounding Tony Stewart was kicked back up after the Ontario County DA recently announced that the case would be handed to a Grand Jury, many are thinking of the implications the case could have on the sport. Given the tailspin the NFL seems to be in as its recently incurred a flurry of domestic abuse outings, some are saying Stewart may get suspended in order for NASCAR to save face.
As we’ve watched the NFL suffer debilitating damage during the recent days, some even suggesting the abuses had something to do with the football organization, it’s clear to see why sport leagues have clauses written in allowing them to suspend should their actions be damaging to the organization. Unfortunately for the NFL however, the evidence of these abuses have come forward and the cases have been made just about crystal clear.
Tony Stewart’s case on the other hand isn’t so black and white as even the prosecutor has announced that he needs a bit of help distinguishing whether or not he should press charges. Now, given that this is such a high priority case that has gained national attention, as we reported yesterday, the DA very well could be doing this for no other reason than to cover all his bases.
However, as he has the right to drop a case so long as he views it not worth pursuing, many have been led to believe that there is now, within the possession of Ontario County authorities, evidence of wrongdoing on Stewart’s part. Either way, many are suggesting that it may be in NASCAR’s best interest to suspend Stewart until the entire case has been ironed out.
Now, no one is assuming that Stewart is guilty, but rather, in effort to protect itself from “actions detrimental to the sport,” as outlined in their contract, NASCAR could, and perhaps should, suspend Stewart. However, the likelihood of this is slim to none as the racing organization has already allowed for Stewart to take as much time off as he pleased allowing him to miss three Sprint Cup races until finally returning.
Although it may have been in NASCAR’s best interest to suspend him, they should have done it in the beginning if that was their intention. The case going to Grand Jury at this point could be as much political as it has to do with evidence related to the incident. At this point, until charges are filed against Stewart – if that were to even become a reality – suspending him now would just appear premature and selfish.
So which is it – should NASCAR have suspended him right off the bat? How about after his case was moved to a Grand Jury? Or has the racing organization been doing exactly what is should be all along?