The New Orleans Saints’ bounty case just got even uglier. On Wednesday, the NFL suspended four current or former Saints players for their roles in the scandal, in which bonuses were offered to players for trying to hurt their opponents.

Linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012-2013 season. This is following the indefinite ban that was given to Gregg Williams, the Saints’ former defensive coordinator.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claims that a bounty program cannot occur without active player participation. In the league’s view, the four players who received suspensions were instrumental to the Saints’ bounty program.

Twitter was abuzz after the decision was released, with players and fans alike reacting to the announcement. Some support the decision, while others see the punishment as over the top. Regardless, the players involved plan to appeal the decision.

What do you think? Is this a fair punishment, or has the NFL gone overboard in the Saints’ bounty case?

Is the bounty program just part of the game, or should it be punished?

What type of ethical implications are at play here?