Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bob Lobel: The NFL Shield Now Protecting Wife Beaters and Child Abusers

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

It was billed as the National Felons League (NFL) decades ago. Must have been a reason for that, right?  

Of course there was, and that was before the days of privacy and very little hard reporting. Well, they have pushed the envelope again, considering “the very bad, God awful, really stinking, lying and cover up week” they just went through. And it is not over by any stretch of the imagination. Usually, the crisis management people employed by every team and by the league itself will tell you to wait out the news cycle, and it will all go away. 

But really, how much damage has been done to America's favorite sport? 

More than the usual disgust of a murder or two. Domestic violence is the hot button and it has been pushed. We can live with drug abuse and philandering, and even murder, but this has become so common, along with the lying and denials, that many have said enough! 

I can't tell you how many, but I will take one of my friends who has been a sports fan with great passion for many years for Boston teams. Her name is Laura, and I will paraphrase some of her comments about recent events.

“The support the NFL and the Ravens gave to Ray Rice points out all too well that winning is above everything else.” (and this was before Yo Adrian).

She goes on. 

“The popularity of pro football carries with it an immense sense of responsibility to make good decisions, because of it's enormous to their customers, the fans. Domestic violence is serious societal problem and the NFL had an opportunity to create a zero tolerance policy and enforce it rather than paying lip service to this serious issue. Then there is Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald. Clearly the leagues crisis management teams urge situations to go through the court system before rendering judgement, as in innocent before proven guilty.

The strategy is to count on the plodding, over-taxed court system that puts everything in delay mode... The perfect excuse to have the accused players play is in play."

Their uniforms will not change to orange for quite a while. Meanwhile, Laura goes on to point out “how pathetic was it for our own beloved Robert Kraft to come out and back Roger Goodell?"  

I'll add on that Jerry Jones, and another rogue owner says their club (the owners) are 100% behind the commissioner. 

More Laura: “He is the messenger for the tone deaf, out of touch owners. The fans keep watching and the money keeps rolling in. MY ONLY RECOURSE AS A FAN IS TO WALK AWAY AND NOT PARTICIPATE. Until enough people do this and the results hit the bottom line, nothing will change. Perhaps, if one of their granddaughters were to be knocked out cold or beaten with a switch to make them behave, they may feel differently. I hope so but I have my doubts. This lack of integrity and moral ambiguity is why I am walking away.” 

I  must say that Laura is  right on the money for a lot of people with her opinions and actions. Yet she knows, you know and I know that the Golden Rule is in place. Who has the Gold makes the Rules.

The NFL really does have a huge opportunity here.

On the field it’s a tough, vicious game that takes courage to play. Off the field that courage seems to go missing, especially in domestic violence perps, as well as the people that should hold them accountable for the despicable acts of beating a child or punching a woman, all under the shield of the NFL.

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