by Gray Graham
Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know that the NFL has been having a bad PR time lately. Thanks to outrage over domestic violence charges against a few of its players in recent weeks, they have been bombarded with outrage from a lot of people.
Last week I called this faux outraged because it really is not based on any common sense. I saw a lot of things said this past week and one that really stood out was someone saying it was the NFL's job to protect the wives and children of NFL players from violence. Really? It is also Google's job to make sure that their employees don't cheat on their wives and do drugs?
In case you missed it most of the outrage is coming from those that hate sports in general, especially an alpha male dominated sport like football. There is nothing that dismisses the belief that men and women are exactly the same in every way possible like sports, for it continues to prove that they are not.
America has a long problem of treating women like second class citizens. Until recently the NFL has had a problem of reaching female fans. That has changed as more women, independent of a male influence, have become fans of a completely male sport that does not have a female counterpart.
Others hate the NFL because it makes billions of dollars and pays no taxes. Cities even build the stadiums and offer tax-breaks to the individual teams. The NFL wins elections in a way that the NBA and MLB wish they could do. All this means that the NFL has made a lot of political enemies over the years and you better believe those enemies are going to attack them now.
And then there is the double standard in our society. Take Hope Solo who is also a professional athlete and she is facing charges of domestic violence against her sister and nephew. She is still playing for Team USA, her professional team, and is still sponsored by Nike. She has even been captain on her team since the charges. There are other stories of women of with domestic violence cases but instead of outrage there is laughter. Apparently it is funny when woman commit acts of domestic violence.
Here is a truth that many of the critics of the NFL and Goodell may have missed. Before Goodell took over as commissioner, rarely missed any games related to their personal conduct. This did not start until Goodell took over from Paul Tagliabue something that the players did not like at all. Remember this is also the league that tried its best to get Michael Sam onto the field even though his skills are not up to pro standards because they knew what that would mean to society as a whole. But today they are villains that do not care.
Domestic violence is an epidemic in our country and the NFL is just a very small reflection of our larger society. It is beyond unrealistic to expect an organization to behave in a manner that would be superior to all other institutions in our country. Domestic violence is a serious and complicated issue which means in our society, unfortunately, it is too difficult to have a meaningful discussion to confront it. It brings up a lot of hard truths that for many reasons will never be discussed.
I said from the beginning of this media created scandal that I wanted the NFL to do something to help the average woman who needs help and has no voice at all. Those are the kind of things that are going to stop domestic violence and save thousands if not millions of lives. As Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam, domestic violence is a much larger problem than simply the NFL and one that we as a society need to address.
I asked one person that is now boycotting the league why did she wait until now. Her response was she finally woke up to what the NFL had been doing. I think like most people she really hasn't been paying attention to domestic violence in the NFL or society in general. Like all of our social issues domestic violence is not new but is far too often ignored.
This is not the NFL's fault either but it seems like everyone wants to give them all the blame. But then again maybe it is the NFL's fault since they have made themselves the most important institution in the country with the following of 70% of the male population and 38% of the female population.
If this situation doesn't do anything else maybe it will bring to light our problems with domestic violence and racism for as was pointed out in Goodell's news conference, all of the people involved in these incidents are Black and all of the decision makers are white. As I said America has a lot of problems to solve.