There is a big bear in the room and he is not smelling too good either. The NFL, headed by this guy to the left Roger Goodell, is doing very well for itself. This 32 man behemoth is the biggest cash cow in the US , raking in BILLIONS, yes Billions of dollars and the 2013 season was by far a bonanza year for the NFL.
” To be sure, it is a great time to own an NFL team regardless of market or stadium. For the 2013 season, the average NFL team generated record revenue of $299 million and $53 million, respectively. Each of the NFL’s 32 teams took in a record $170 million of national revenue, mainly from league-wide broadcasting and licensing fees.” Mike Ozanian Forbes Magazine Writer
This is good news for a sporting confederate that has as a mission to quote “to present the National Football League and its teams at a level that attracts the broadest audience and makes NFL football the best sports entertainment in the world”. It has certainly presented the sport as an over produced hollywood drama on our TV screen every Sunday. The previews are fantastic set up between the aggressor and the vanquished, the music epic. Its like watching my favorite movie of all time The Gladiator every week.
Hollywood on Steroids
The NFL is hollywood on steroids, literally. With such an enormous audience the NFL must have a moral compass attached to its right arm of management and why not. Its audience involves everyone, men, women, children, black, white, gays, drug addicts, the works. We all like a good Hollywood movie especially when it’s free. But frankly when your morals are clouded by your actions especially when you command such a big wealth of people’s attention and resources, then you deserve to be put on the witness stand.
I started to pay attention to the NFL when their concussion saga premiered on the stage. The essence of the game is to attack the opposing player and stop him from scoring, at all cost. Players upon players were carted off the field with broken bones, torn muscles and more importantly, concussion issues. For years this medical issue was spiraling and the NFL turned a deaf ears and a blind eye to this matter. For the NFL, games were being played, attendance was up, revenues were banking in, and the people loved the sport., No problem. Teams were coached to hit , and hit hard. Players, on their own, would hit the opponent to put them down. Heck, you watch the game and you can feel the hit. The game is a blood sport. A contact sport resulting in concussion is not too difficult for a child to understand. Suicides, thousands of medical reports and injuries later, the NFL stood resolute, it was not a problem. Money trumped concern. It makes you wonder if anyone had seen or remembered the core principle of the NFL which is to “safeguard the integrity of the game.”
A Modern Bloodbath
I liken the NFL to the days of the Gladiators in Rome. The Gladiators were at best remarkable athletes and at worst degenerate criminals who fight to the death for social acclaim, recognition and freedom from slavery. The NFL is just a modern day version of this lust for blood, only fancied up to prevent outright death. The Roman curia was responsible for this bloodbath and they lived to pay the price as evidenced through that other Hollywood favorite Spartacus.
For the NFL to deny its inherent role in this sport and its cause of medical trauma is criminal. Organizers are culpable, not just participants and this to me defined the NFL for who they are; bloodthirsty weir wolves who will stop at nothing to use its batch of super athletes and persons of dubious origins, throw a lucrative bunch of cash in their face and watch them die. The only integrity they were safeguarding was their bottom line and their mission to make the NFL... “the best sports entertainment in the world.” The following was the final settlement between the players and the NFL. Notice the final sentence in the settlement.
A proposed settlement was reached in the litigation on August 29, 2013. Under the agreement, the NFL will contribute $765 million to provide medical help to more than 18,000 former players. Retired players who suffer severe neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diseases in the future will also be eligible to apply for medical help. In addition, $10 million will fund brain injury research as well as safety and education programs. The settlement says it should not be interpreted as a statement of legal liability on the part of the NFL. (NFL/Players Litigation )
Say Nothing, Do nothing
The NFL’s denial of its responsibilities has always been consistent as a man going to the weekly bar joint to have his mandatory social ltime with his buddies. No one would dare break the man code of the 32 teams and that code is ‘say nothing, and they will blame someone else. Roger Goodell pretty much ensures this man-code is upheld at all cost. The recent incident of the Ray Rice saga proves once again that when you try and disrupt this man code, you will be hit hard by walls of denials and you may suffer your own concussion trying to get to break the man-code.
Ray Rice beating his girlfriend turned wife within 48 hours is nothing new. Women and men are suffering even as I write this post from verbal, emotional and physical abuse. Here are some facts to remind you of the global problem.
- The perpetrators of violence against women are almost exclusively men.
- Physical abuse in intimate relationships is almost always accompanied by severe psychological and verbal abuse. In 1 of 4 cases of domestic violence, women will also experience sexual abuse.
- Women are at greatest risk of violence from men they know. In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, 40-70 per cent of female murder victims were killed by their partners.
- In Asia, at least 60 million girls are ‘missing’ due to prenatal sex selection, infanticide or neglect.
- Female genital mutilation/cutting affects an estimated 130 million women and girls.
When you have a club owned exclusively by men, it is difficult for them to feel the pain of the woman. For them women are a collateral , for better of worse, of the relationships they spawn with their partners. To them that issue is personal , between 2 ‘consenting’ people and it happens off the field.
“We are ethical in all of our dealings with fans, clubs, business partners, and each other”
NFL Mission & Values Statement
Ethical, that word ethical. Ethical decisions are based on everyone best interest is protected. But the NFL’s ethical decision is only ensuring their interest is protected. The league of the privileged boys, through their puppet Gooddell, stage-managed the initial fallout of Rice-Gate , ethically presenting the 2 consenting couples as having only a misunderstanding that only requires them to kiss and make up. Here are the stage managed facts:
- On February 15, 2014, Rice and his fiancée Janay Palmer were arrested and charged with assault after a physical altercation at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- Celebrity news website TMZ posted a video of Rice striking Palmer in an elevator, apparently knocking her out, and then dragging her body out of the lift.
- The Ravens issued a statement following TMZ’s release of the video, calling Rice’s domestic violence arrest a “serious matter”.
- On March 27, 2014, a grand jury indicted Rice on third-degree aggravated assault, with a possible jail sentence of three to five years and a fine of up to $15,000.
- For the incident, Rice was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 NFL season on July 25, 2014.The criminal charges were later dropped after Rice agreed to undergo court-supervised counseling.
- In a news conference announcing longer suspension lengths for future domestic violence incidents, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he “didn’t get it right” in deciding Rice’s punishment.
- On September 8, 2014, TMZ released additional footage from an elevator camera showing Rice punching Palmer.
What didn’t Goodell get right? Was it the fact that he only gave him 2 games suspension or was it the fact that when he saw the tape he did not get it right as it was too late for recovery? Goodell HAD to see the tape. The NFL, a billion dollar conglomerate with more investigators than probably the FBI, had to throughly investigate this matter. Their agreement with their Players Association would ensure that. I am not one of those who will buy his statement that the NFL did not see the tape. He hurriedly ratcheted up the fines and penalties after either hearing from TMZ or knowing that TMZ will go public with the tape. That announcement was to save face, the big face of ethical values of the 32 boys. It would be prudent on the part of TMZ to advise the NFL and put them on their guard. Giving the boys a heads up is like offering them a rag to dry up the blood before they inflict the stab wound. For Goodell to look in the eyes of the public and say they did not see the tape is tantamount to raping the intelligence of their adoring fans. But the rule is to defend the integrity of the club, at all cost. Some of the public are gullible enough to buy it. Others are saying..umm. not so fast. We are not blaming the dog Goodell, we are blaming You the NFL.
Corporations are NOT people, they are Mongrels
Goddell has single handedly defined the monolithic statement that “Corporations are People”, rich, self deprecating people. The giant gorilla in the world of sports has bent over and exposed his furry ass and farted on millions of women that are bludgeoned by men. Ray Rice is only collateral damage in this ethical dilemma. Thrown under the proverbial bus, the NFL shouted “off with his head”! With just one stroke of PR wizardry the NFL has shown every player in the league what their true value is, NOTHING. Corporations like the NFL are not people, they are mongrels. They smile at you when you give them something to eat and bite you when you try and pat them. No loyalty to people, only to money. Money takes the place of players. Money takes the place of women.
We follow through on our words with action. We are honest and direct.
We create an environment that inspires trust and confidence. NFL Mission Statement
Roger Goodell is only doing what he is paid to do, make the NFL a lot of money and make them look good. For that you cannot blame him. What I do take him to task for is that he has a wife, he may even have a daughter. At what point, even when women make up 48% of their fan base do they connect with the boys ? At what point does sports management involve human management and human care? At what point does the NFL think of assets as people and not just money?
“About four years ago, there was a push, recognizing how many women fans we have, that we need to speak to them,” says Jaime Weston, the league’s vice president for brand and creative. “And while they follow the game like every other fan, like our male fans, they do want to be spoken to in a little bit different way.” Ira Boudway Business Insider
Apparently they are still looking for that voice to speak to women in a little bit different way.
Ray Rice and his wife have problems that need the support of not only their family but their friends, very close friends, how many of them they have left. When a man hurts a woman the way he did, the arrow usually points to a recurrence of the incident and it becomes a part of the culture of the relationship. Repetition compulsion is psychologically possible and can be dangerous to not only her but to him. Doing the same thing over and over is almost like the user is suffering from a psychotic neurosis.
The NFL suffers from that same malignant disease, Repetition Compulsion. They will never change as their love of money takes precedence over their love of people. The book, “League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth,” written by ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru investigated the NFL and its fight to deny their game had anything to do with brain damage. Bottom line was one word, Coverup. They refused to accept the fact. Similarly the Tobacco Industry did the same thing until science and public outcry forced them to change.
This big boys club has a lot of changing to do and it starts from their acceptance that the NFL is not 32 OWNERS but it is the over 4000 personnel that make up one TEAM. For the NFL to govern this little society, like all modern and cultured society, it must have laws, education and health that govern the league. It cannot be the present MO of clear up as you go or how do I feel today. The inherent problems in the NFL lies not in the HOW it does things but the WAY it gets it business done. Goodell must manage and lead from the front. If he and the NFL thinks their dollhouse will continue in perpetuity they had better think twice. The public will tolerate man’s need but not mans greed. The need to make mistakes is one. The need to change is another. But the need to be greedy at all cost is showing the NFL as a pompous ass, an ass that will be soon harnessed than left out on the field to run wild.
Footnote to Janay Rice:
There is research showing women trapped in a marriage is willing to tolerate abuse in a relationship. We can understand you are standing by your man and blaming everyone except the abuser. I have seen this movie before, its called Blame. you might want to watch it . The movie is about a group of young vigilantes seeking revenge for a sexual betrayal fall far from grace. When the truth is out they find themselves on the dark side of justice.
For your sake i would hate to see you on the dark side of justice. Living with an abuser is like working with a live electric wire. It can spark anytime. Open your eyes and face the fact. Abusers are the perpetrators of evil but you who live with it and passively claims love and do nothing about it , are the true perpetrator of violence. You, Janay is now the abuser.