When I was in college many moons ago, I broke an ankle playing basketball. After an examination at the hospital, I was placed into a wheelchair and taken for X-rays.
As my elevated foot was dangling in front of me, this candy-striper proceeded to push me into an elevator and smash my broken ankle into the far wall. I can still hear the “snap, crackle, pop” and feel the pain of impact.
This striped bimbo came very close to a “Ray Rice” moment, but I limited my reaction to comments on her intellect, or lack of it, and bent to her wishes not to tell anyone of this inane, moronic, dim-witted accident.
By now, we are all familiar with Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and the video showing him punching his fiancée, and then dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator like she was nothing more than a bag of dirty laundry. After much outrage because of an initial two-game suspension, Rice has been banned from the NFL indefinitely, as he should be.
More on this in a moment. Have you noticed the unending attacks on the NFL? By that I mean the media’s obsession with concussions, supposed early onset of Alzheimer’s and memory loss, stories of players who have mismanaged their salaries and ended up broke, and now, the “shock and awe” over allegations of abuse.
Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested, charged with multiple murders, and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was suspended after being indicted for child abuse, and the media chorus is blaming the NFL’s “masculine brute force mentality” for causing such behavior.
Don’t forget the unending media frenzy over such NFL team names as “Redskins” or “Chiefs.” In 2014, they have received more press coverage than ISIS.
All this is the NFL’s fault, and something must be done! Meanwhile, the NFL and its spineless commissioner, Roger Goodell, pound their chests with “mea culpas” and enact lingerie league, sissy, weak-kneed, childish, pansy butt, Barney Fife, chicken manure, wimpy, Barack Hussein Obama rule changes that do nothing more than ruin the game and bow to the self-appointed sports police.
Let’s take a closer look. Many NFL players were poor young men who grew up in a rough environment but were lucky enough to have great athletic prowess. The NFL pays them a ton of money and supports them with legal and financial advice, but can a three-to-seven-year career in the NFL negate a lifetime of bad habits and dubious behavior? Does it make that individual the NFL’s responsibility?
The NFL has the best conditioning, training and equipment in the world, and by the way, while one player died of a heart attack on the field in 1971, no one has ever been killed from contact while playing an NFL game. Call me cruel, but soldiers, police and firemen do a much more dangerous job with far deadlier consequences for pennies on the NFL dollar. Besides, they join to serve and protect. An NFL player signs for millions to play a game, so forgive me, if I don’t join the movement toward flag football.
Now, has the NFL handled the Ray Rice case well? No, and that is at the root of the recent condemnation, but who has handled cases of abuse properly? If the NFL is somehow responsible for the actions of its players and must respond correctly, aren’t school districts responsible for the actions of abuse by their teachers and employees and shouldn’t they be held to the same standard of action? How many teachers have been banned for an indefinite period for beating their wives or children?
So too, are ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CNN responsible for their reporters’ and technicians’ private lives in regard to abuse? By these standards, I wonder how many would lose their jobs for an indefinite period.
Should Congress be examined, and all cases of spousal and child abuse by its members or staff be reviewed and suspensions given? After all, if we’re going to have a zero tolerance, let’s not limit it to the NFL.
Shouldn’t movie and recording studios ban for an indefinite period all producers, directors and stars found guilty of spousal or child abuse, if we’re really serious about stopping this? Would there be an industry left?
Every private company, every city, town, county, state and federal department, every sports league, all hospitals, and all public and private organizations should be held to the same standard as the NFL, if this is truly about abuse.
Or, is it that the NFL is the last bastion of masculinity, and that drives certain people crazy. The last remaining world where unapologetic brute force wins the day, usually with sportsmanship but never with sympathy. People get hit and hit hard. This is NFL football.
Chuck Pinkey is a retired area businessman. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board, but the author thinks they ought to.