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Vikings' Kluwe: NFL must ban Vilma, Williams for life

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe knew early in the 2009 NFC Championship Game that the New Orleans Saints were up to no good.

In the first quarter, Brett Favre handed the ball off to Percy Harvin and took a nasty shot to the chin from defensive lineman Bobby McCray. The play drew a 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty and an eventual fine.

"I had never seen that before in my life," Kluwe told ESPN Radio.

Kluwe is an outspoken type, and he thinks the league was right to come down hard on the Saints for their "bounty" program.

Said Kluwe: "My position has always been that I think Vilma and Gregg Williams should be banned for life and then Payton should get a year, their GM should get a year and anyone who knowingly took money after a hit that injured someone should get a year as well."

Player penalties have yet to be handed down, but Kluwe believes the penalties must be consistent with earlier decisions. He hopes the NFL Players Association will act with commonsense.

"(The NFLPA) has to stand for doing the right thing as well, and that means protecting union members who were the ones that were the victims of getting injured," he said. "You can't look at the (NFLPA) as a shield for the guys who are doing the wrong thing. It has to be a shield for the guys who need that protection."

Kluwe brings up an interesting issue that certainly bears watching once player punishment is doled out. Affected players -- Vilma likely among them -- could look to their union to fight the punishment. But the punishment stems from dangerous and illegal actions that put fellow union members in harm's way.

It's a tricky situation, and it's rumbling right at the NFLPA. Kind of like Bobby McCray.

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