Monday, September 15, 2014

Women, the NFL and domestic violence.

And now the word from one of mine non-sponsors: the National Football League.

Over the past several weeks, much ado has been made about the Ray Rice domestic violence situation.

Naturally, it’s a given that the NFL knew much more than they will ever acknowledge when it came to Mr. Rice.

As Richard Nixon would tell you, generally the cover-up is typically worse than the crime. Now, the front office of the NFL is in full cover-up mode, and at this point, if they told me it was daylight outside I’d have to check for myself.

Some, in the periphery of the sports world, are beginning to express some outrage.

Where were they a month ago? Where were they a year ago? Where were they 10 years ago?


There’s only one thing that drives change in the National Football League: and that’s the matter of profit.

Stunningly enough, at the Baltimore/Pittsburgh game, there were dozens if not hundreds of women wearing Ray Rice jerseys. Now I don’t know if that was a result of that being the only jersey they had to wear, or if that was some sort of symbolic support of Mr. Rice’s “plight”. But either way the question becomes one of what kind of message does that send?

Until or unless women in this country stop allowing the NFL to get their money, their attention and their manipulation, they are under no compunction whatsoever to change any policy about anything concerning the issue of domestic violence. There is domestic violence amongst NFL players, because the NFL allows domestic violence and has allowed domestic violence throughout the entirety of their existence.

Some might dispute that. I don’t care. The fact of the matter is that all of these guys sign a contract, and one of the many paragraphs in said contract could contain language such as "…if you are even arrested for domestic violence you will be immediately suspended and if you are convicted you will be immediately thrown out of the NFL permanently." All contract monies will have to be returned, and you will receive no further payment from this organization.

I’m not suggesting necessarily that that exact kind of language could be made standard in any NFL contract. But some version of that could’ve been in their decades ago. And apparently, it was not.

If the NFL wants to put a stop to any particular brand of behavior, then it is well within their purview to include the prohibited kinds of behavior that they want to stop within each and every NFL player’s contract.

Want to stop drug use? Then put a clause in the contract saying that if you’re popped for drugs, you’re gone. Want to stop these people from feeling their oats and beating the hell out of somebody in a bar? Then put a clause in their contract saying, but if you’re arrested for assault, then you’re gone.

Put clauses in their contracts that will give them all the incentive they could possibly need to avoid putting themselves in situations where people get hurt as a result. If they know their career and their livelihood is at risk for this kind of activity, then there is a damn good chance, that that will prove adequate as an incentive for them to not engage in that activity.

As it is now, however, there’s no incentive for the NFL to either places kind of language in the player’s contracts or take any other steps such as firing Roger Goddell for whatever you could characterize his actions in the Ray Rice situation. Why should they? What’s their incentive? If this isn’t gonna cost them anything, do you think that they’re going to act out of the goodness of their hearts, or altruism?

We, of course, are on the outside looking in. We can say, we can wish, any number of things that the NFL will ignore. And they will ignore it, because it makes no difference to their wallets. And making a difference to their wallet is the only language these people are going to understand.

No comments: