Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Appalling NFL “Shield”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell likes to say that for the NFL and football to evolve and continue to thrive, everyone must contribute:  players, coaches, officials, executives and the commissioner. But, he often reminds people, he is the commissioner, and it's his job to safeguard the game's integrity—"protect the shield," as he puts it. And under his watch, the league has become significantly more powerful, with mushrooming revenue and global influence.

On August 28, 2014 Goodell wrote a letter to NFL owners expressing regret about the League’s handling of Ray Rice’s suspension:
"At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals.  We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence.  We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place.  My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families.  I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values.  I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better.  And we will."
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports believes, despite Goodell’s protestations, that the NFL was aware of the existence of the “elevator knockout” video before its release on Monday. SI’s Peter King wrote in July that the NFL had seen the video.  NFL reporter Chris Mortensen talked about the video weeks ago.  On Monday morning, Hall of Famer Cris Carter tweeted that he’d seen the knockout video long before its release by TMZ Sports.

I suspect the claim that the Commissioner did, in fact, see the knockout video is true and any denial to the contrary is a false flag based on the fact Goodell had the “Spygate” tapes destroyed of Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick illegally taping opponents’ defensive signals.

The casino made a copy of the videotape.  All Goodell and the NFL had to do was ask for it.  Goodell is as much a pig as Rice is.

Anyone who wants to give the league and the Ravens credit for doing the right thing has not been paying attention. The League is rife with wife beaters, drug abusers, accused murderers, drunks and drug addicts.

According to a 2013 story in The New Yorker, “One in every four women is a victim of domestic physical violence at some point in her life, and the Justice Department estimates that three women and one man are killed by their partners every day. Between 2000 and 2006 domestic homicide in the United States claimed ten thousand six hundred lives."

Those who are humiliated in such a way learn to disintegrate, that is, they become once removed from pain. This is the most direct route to psychic ruin.

As a woman human being, it is repulsive to watch a man strike a woman, lug her unconscious body partially out of an elevator, walk over her body repeatedly, stand around as passersby see a woman lying prostate on a hotel lobby floor and the man who knocked her out stand around callously.  That’s an image America cannot get out of its mind. 

My hat is off the hotel security officer who stood in the doorway of the elevator long enough for the cameras to capture the aftermath of Rice’s madness.  It is infuriating to think that Janay married a man capable of such violence and apathy.

Ray Rice should be banned for life.  Roger Goodell and NFL owners and coaches need to change the League’s culture of protecting its criminal players.  The NFL has a domestic violence problem and up until yesterday demonstrated that women’s safety doesn’t matter.  Shameful.  Disgraceful.  Reprehensible.

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