The National Football League is a $9 billion dollar corporation. It's comprised of billionaire owners, executives and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell who all work to make money for each other. The relationship foundations are grounded in this. Each year 16 regular season games are played followed by playoffs. Team owners and NFL executives make millions annually off of revenue from ticket sales to apparel to anything else that relates to the team. All is well in the world, right? Absolutely not. The recent stories of (former) Baltimore Raves running back Ray Rice domestic violence incident with his wife to Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy domestic violence pending case with his former girlfriend to the most recent allegations of child abuse against Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson shows exactly how removed the owners, commissioner and and many players are from their roles in society and as men. There is no place for violence or abuse EVER. Yet, recent NFL commissioner actions may lead you to believe otherwise.
It started with Ray Rice. Video first surfaced months back that the NFL admits to have seen that showed Rice dragging his wife, then fiance, out of an Atlantic City hotel. He admitted to hitting her and was fined and penalized 2 games by the NFL. It wasn't until this video surfaced by TMZ about a week ago showing the actual punch Rice landed on his wife that the NFL and the rest of the country took notice. As a result Rice was fired from the Ravens, suspended indefinitely by the league and became the poster child for ridicule against domestic violence with many players speaking out.
Rewind less than two months, and Greg Hardy was found guilty of 2 counts of assault against his ex-girlfriend. The NFL season came, the Panthers played their first game and Hardy suited up and started. Not a mum was heard. But when the Rice incident occurred now there was outrage across the board. How could one player be chastised and not the same happen across the board? Hardy was deactivated in the second game of the Panthers season as his case remains under review.
Now enter Adrian Peterson. Last last week Peterson was indicted on charges of child abuse for allegedly using a switch on his child to discipline him. He was booked Saturday and released. Many say that disciplining your child should be up to the discretion of the parents. Others say that a child should never be physically disciplined in any way. Whatever side you are on with respect to disciplining your child, no child should be physically beaten to the point of broken bones or continued ailment. Something went wrong with what Peterson did to his son.
These are three incidents for the NFL. Three incidents in less than three months that relate to violence. Three incidents that forces the NFL to do something, speak out and act.
What is the NFL going to do? I have purposely left out countless other domestic violence cases of the past or the ongoing problems of NFL owners Jim Irsay and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for the sake of space to focus on the three hottest stories that are most relevant. But the truth is, this is nothing new. The NFL has a terrible history of violence that has never been dealt with. The frequency with which these incidents are occurring may be lessening, but violence within the NFL is a problem. The NFL has its sites set on how it's going to get to $25 billion, but at what cost? It's about more and more money. Are the players at the focus of progress in the NFL or are they merely bobble-heads of executives and officials to move around when they see fit? The money in the NFL is out of control and the culture of what's right and acceptable is being watered down and downtrodden. All young men, regardless of color, need to know it's unacceptable to hit a woman. When it comes to disciplining your child, there needs to be some sort of discretion in teaching, but not crippling. And who are the real victims of domestic violence? Is it the ridiculed players, is it the public or the victims? I argue it's everyone involved. Our system of disciplining is all messed up. Ray Rice was kicked out of the league, his wife seen as the silly one for staying and the two have nothing left but each other. Where is the lesson learned? Where is the teaching? I can point to a lot of things like missing fathers in the household and looking for role models and right from wrong from the ill-advised sources, but at the epicenter of it all is what we, as a society, deem acceptable and cool and what is not. We cannot promote doing whatever to women in one aspect of life and not expect respect in another. We need to reevaluate as a society how we construct things and put them together. From commercials to television to video games, all the things young minds wrap their minds around and take as reality at a young age. There is no reason for violence, but it starts with each of us taking a look at ourselves and how we are contributing to the progression or the digression of it all. Everyone loses when these type of stories come out, but how are we going to deal with them all and bounce back is what I want to know. How is the NFL going to properly insure that these players are given proper help with their families and in how they handle situations? We all can do something to help, but what is our niche and how are we going to make something happen.
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