Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson & More: The NFL and their Domestic Violence Nightmare
The NFL has gone from one of the most respected and powerful leagues in the world of sports to now being embarrassed as the league looks like an episode of a terrible reality show. It all started with Ray Rice and the constant breaking news has not come close to stopping since.
This Sunday, two players were held of out action for the horrendous crimes that they committed. First, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was finally inactive after he was convicted of domestic abuse this summer. It was another egregious mistake on the part of the NFL for letting Hardy play after the Rice incident and the leagues new policy on domestic violence.
The NFL looked weak and hypocritical for allowing Hardy to play while Rice was suspended and ripped apart by the public (as he should have been). It is ridiculous that Hardy has not been suspended just because there hasn’t been a video released of him choking his wife and dragging her around by her hair. The NFL now must suspend Hardy for the 6 games that first time offenders receive under the NFL’s new domestic violence policy.
The second player to be held out of action on Sunday was Viking’s star running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson was indicted on charges of child abuse for allegedly beating his 4-year-old son. The pictures released of Peterson’s son were horrifying, with dark bruises up and down his legs. Credit must be given to the Vikings who seem like the only people in the NFL capable of recognizing obvious wrongdoings and punishing those at fault. It is unclear how this situation will play out, as the NFL tends to let the legal proceedings play out before they give out their punishment.
These incidents like Rice’s, Hardy’s and Peterson’s point to a huge discipline problem that is so evidently present in football. Since the Seahawks embarrassed the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, 28 NFL players have been arrested. Players have been arrested for fighting cops, DUI, assault and falsely reporting a bomb at an airport (thanks for that one Aldon Smith) just to name a few. The NFL must put an end to this constant negligence by its players. If this theme continues eventually it will begin to hurt the NFL from a business standpoint.
If these players continue to rampage around committing these crimes, fans and then later sponsors are going to begin to not want to associate themselves with the league. The NFL is the middle of a public relations nightmare that it will be difficult to dig themselves out of. Not only do they players look inept and irresponsible but Roger Goodell and league management look just as if, not more incompetent. Goodell took a huge amount of criticism for how he handled the Ray Rice situation. First he needed a second video and second chance to get the suspension correct and then news came out that the NFL did indeed have a copy of that terrifying Ray Rice video.
The league responded by setting up an in-house investigation. Really? An in-house investigation? Run by someone who works for a law firm that negotiated the NFL’s DirectTV deal and overseen by John Mara and Art Rooney II, the owners of the Giants and Steelers, two of the oldest and most respected franchises in the NFL. The makeup of that investigation really doesn’t make one feel like the NFL is really trying to fix this problem.
The beginning of a solution to this discipline problem is replacing Roger Goodell as NFL commissioner. There was much talk to whether or not Goodell should lose his job for the way he handled the Rice situation and the answer is that he most definitely should. The NFL now needs to clean up its image and it should start by removing its biggest remaining dark spot, Roger Goodell. Yes, Goodell has helped to turn the NFL into a multi-billion dollar financial powerhouse but isn’t that an achievement that almost any competent commissioner could do.
I don’t think it takes a genius to sell the rights to air the Super Bowl and multiple prime time games for a huge sum to CBS. It doesn’t take a genius to capitalize on the all the financial opportunity that the Internet and technology has brought to the NFL and all sports. Recently Goodell has shown mass amounts of ineptitude and a huge lack of control of his league. The way the he has handled all these recent crimes committed by NFL players leaves no room for him left in this league. The NFL needs somebody the commands respect and is able to handle conflict and crisis not just someone that is worried about the financial future of the league.
Ben Touger | News Cult