(New York, NY) – If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
Unless you happen to be a football player in the National Football League (NFL), in which case literally beating ’em seems to be all the rage.
Domestic violence is terrorism, plain and simple. It’s meant to terrorize spouses. It’s meant to terrorize children. These abusers are no better than the folks associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (aka “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)” and “Islamic State (IS)” and “Al-Qaeda in Iraq”).
It’s not like the NFL invented this disgusting form of terrorism. But the shield of infallibility, which has protected the league for almost 95 years, is finally beginning to show cracks. Gone are the days when rapists, murderers, spousal abusers, child abusers, animal killers, drug addicts, drug dealers, and steroid users were given a pass in the name of earning billions of dollars for the NFL. Recent high-profile transgressions have the league reeling.
Many feel it’s about time.
Known unofficially as the “National Felons’ League” for years, it now seems that average, ordinary, everyday Americans are finally outraged to the point of demanding action. At least, for this week.
The cascade of bad news began on July 24. That’s when Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for two games by the NFL. His crime? Beating the living crap out of his fiancé, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino on February 14.
Palmer married Rice on March 28 – just six weeks after the beating – and has since defended him in public.
The July 24 “punishment” handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was widely criticized as being too lenient. At a press conference on August 28, Goodell admitted that he “didn’t get it right” when referencing the punishment.
But he still took no additional action.
After an extended version of the video appeared on September 8, the Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
“This team seems to have a very high threshold for improper behavior.” said an NFL observer, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I mean, they had no problem keeping Rice when investigators found shards from Palmer’s teeth embedded in the elevator’s buttons, along with her blood on cracked elevator windows and indentations on her face from poker chips.”
Ricegate was soon followed by the exploits of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who has been suspended from the team – actually, he was first suspended, then reinstated, then suspended again – for badly beating his four-year-old son with a switch (a tree branch stripped of leaves).
Peterson turned himself into Texas police regarding the child abuse charges on September 13.
“You can see disciplining a child,” said a spokesman for the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s an entirely different story when you beat a child with a tree branch and leave welts all over their body – including their buttocks and scrotum.
On September 16, additional accusations were leveled against Peterson regarding the abuse of another four-year-old son from a different mother. In this case, an alleged beating in the child’s car seat led to head wounds requiring bandages.
And, just like Rice, Peterson is finding those who support his actions. Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn claims that “people blowing it out of proportion” and that he supports Peterson’s method of corporal punishment.
Munnerlyn also believes Peterson should not be suspended, but rather should be allowed to continue to play in order “to let out some frustration and to be himself.”
“If by ‘be himself’ he’s talking about Peterson being a practitioner of domestic violence, then Munnerlyn is even less intelligent than he sounds when he speaks,” said an NFL critic, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush also supports Peterson’s method of corporal punishment, and claimed that he “definitely will discipline [his one-year-old daughter] harshly depending on what the situation is.”
In spite of later saying that his statements were taken out of context, Bush now finds himself being scrutinized for possible child abuse charges.
But the NFL’s issues didn’t start in June 2014. “The NFL is filled with idiots,” said a sports columnist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And the NFL always has been filled with idiots.
“The difference now, aside from social media providing access to unending voyeurism in everyone’s lives, is that discretion is no longer a part of valor. These guys break laws and brag about it. Their counterparts from yesteryear knew better to keep quiet.
“Folks like Lawrence Taylor [an alcoholic charged with cocaine possession and statutory rape] went through their career mostly unscathed. Today, though, you’ve got folks like Michael Vick [dog torture and murder] and Ray Lewis [murder]. It’s just no contest.”
On September 19, Goodell finally broke his week-long silence on the matter and announced the league’s official position – and upcoming actions – on the recent spate of public thuggery in the NFL’s ranks:
The NFL now recognizes that domestic violence exists everywhere, and while it affects average, ordinary, everyday Americans, the league will only get involved because sponsors are fleeing and, in the process, draining the NFL’s coffers.
- Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will conduct an impartial, blue-ribbon investigation. The investigation will be paid for by the NFL, and Mueller stands to earn at least $500,000 for his troubles.
- Every NFL employee – from head coaches to cheerleaders – will be required to participate in education sessions about domestic violence. A group of experts on domestic violence – including OJ Simpson, Chris Brown, and Rihanna – will conduct the training. The NFL Commissioner and his immediate minions are exempt.
- Spouses of NFL employees will be eligible for free elevator-assault training. The training won’t be free for NFL fans, however; a surcharge will be applied to all tickets, concessions, parking fees, etc. to cover the cost of the training.
Commissioner Goodell is also requiring the reading of the 1997 bibliography titled Domestic Violence Assessment by Health Care Practitioners [Current Bibliographies in Medicine 97-3],” said an NFL spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And they’ll have to use the citations to each write a two-page paper, double-spaced, on the evils of domestic violence. And, Commissioner Goodell would like to take a moment and thank the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH), as well as the NIH’s National Library of Medicine (NLM), for putting together such an important and ground-breaking piece of literature.”
“This is all very convoluted,” said a sports reporter, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s just about as entangled as our need to destroy ISIS while possibly helping those who are also against us. Well, no one’s being beheaded in the NFL – yet – so maybe it isn’t really like that. I guess I just like to say that.”