Monday, September 8, 2014

A Female's Message to Goodell and the NFL

In 1998, Aaron Sorkin’s show Sports Night featured an interesting story-line.  Amateur reporter/associate producer Natalie goes to interview a major football player.  Then, word breaks that a football player was seen exposing himself to a woman and grabbing her when she attempts to leave.  It dawns on the other workers that it was Natalie.  She initially resists pressing charges, but is eventually talked into it.  In the following episode, she receives death threats and nasty hate mail.  But eventually, the show moves on and so does she.

When I first saw this episode, it bothered me.  But I didn’t realize then how common it actually is that violence gets overlooked in professional sports.  When word broke that some kind of altercation had occurred between Ray Rice and his fiance, the NFL acted.  They acted poorly.  They suspended him for 2 games.  Less than someone who has smoked pot.  Yeah, that’s the message being sent to women.  You are less important than recreational drug use!

It took TMZ leaking the footage of what actually happened in the elevator for Rice to get kicked off the team.  Also the NFL is implementing a new domestic violence policy. “Goodell said that in the future, any N.F.L. employee, including nonplayers, would be suspended for six games for a first offense of domestic violence and a minimum of a year for a second offense.” The article, from the New York Times, indicates the league had seen the footage back in July. It took you this long to do the right thing? Wow, screw you guys.

On the one hand, this is better than what is currently going on in the league in regards to domestic violence.  On the other hand, if you have a player who has more than one offense, WHY ARE THEY STILL ON THE TEAM???  You want to make a stand on violence against women?  Then get the fuck rid of someone who beats on their girlfriend/fiance/wife.  Don’t make allowances.  There should be no allowances for men who beat their spouses.  Even current NFL players are lashing back against this whole situation. And as a woman, I'm not thrilled at the way you're handling it either. Nor are others.

Violence seems pretty rampant in sports (check out the stats on the NFL alone) and leagues should set the precedence that just because you are famous and can kick/throw/shoot something doesn’t mean you can get away with beating your spouse.

No comments: