Boys behaving badly. I mean very badly. That’s the image of the National Football League today and its Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking more like a joke, and a staunch defender of the locker room culture rather than the disciplinarian he pledged to be in 2007.
There’s been a parade of NFL players who have been suspended and or arrested for everything from brutalizing their women to abusing their children under the guise of “spanking.” All in a days work for these guys I guess. Hitting each other on the field for sport and hitting women and children for extracurricular fun. It’s sickening.
Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice was caught on video knocking out cold his then fiancé Janay Palmer. Vikings Adrian Peterson “spanked” his 4-year old son with a switch, “cutting his arms, legs and genitals.” San Franciso 49ers Ray McDonald was arrested for hitting his pregnant fiancée. Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy thought it was fun to throw his girlfriend on a bed full of 10 semi-automatic weapons and beat her up, for which he was convicted.
But Cardinals player Jonathan Dwyer head butting his wife, breaking her nose because she refused to have sex with him takes the cake for the most despicable NFL player. Dwyer didn’t stop there. Still angry the next morning, Dwyer punched his wife in the face for emphasis.
These guys look like a line up for America’s Most Wanted. Not only has these players’ behavior stained the NFL’s reputation; it also has given black men a bad name because the players mentioned are all black. Men remind me that 70% of the NFL players are black. So, that’s supposed to be an excuse for them to act like barbaric animals?
Evidently, the National Football League (NFL) didn’t get the memo that women and children aren’t property of men to be abused. Perhaps the players also missed Beyoncé’s song “Girls Run the World” not that girls should be run over or trampled upon like football opponents.
Goodell’s response to this avalanche of domestic brutality exhibited by NFL players has been an unconvincing press conference and hiring three women to advise him how to deal with this fiasco. Hey Roger, here’s a litmus test. Would you beat your wife and kids? Do you think that’s manly or acceptable behavior?
Goodell shouldn’t have to hire women to tell him football players acting like thugs is NOT acceptable and these players need to go. Period. But the billions of dollars the NFL is worth matters more to Goodell and companies who advertise or have sponsorship deals with the organization than doing the right thing.
Proctor & Gamble cancelled a breast cancer awareness promotion with the NFL but other companies haven’t followed suit. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and PepsiCo issued statements denouncing the horrific behavior displayed by these players. While the beer giant noted “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code,” it’s not morally repugnant enough for AB InBev to pull its $1.2 billion deal for Bud Light to be the official beer of the NFL. But AB InBev isn’t alone.
A longtime sponsor of NFL, PepsiCo quenches the thirst of players during games with Gatorade and has “NFL marketing rights for several other brands.” PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement that as “a mother, a wife, and a passionate football fan” she was “deeply disturbed” by “the repugnant behavior of a few players and the NFL’s acknowledged mishandling of these issues.”
But Nooyi wasn’t disturbed enough to end PepsiCo’s ties with the NFL until they clean up their act. Nooyi added she stood by her man Goodell and thought he was “a man of integrity” and urged him and the NFL “to seize the moment” and do the right thing. Mrs. Nooyi should heed her own words, show zero tolerance for domestic violence and pull Pepsi’s lucrative deal with the NFL. But that requires taking a real stand not just talking about one.
Many companies pulled ads from Rush Limbaugh’s show for his “opinions” about Sandra Fluke’s campaign for free birth control pills. The NFL situation is exponentially worse and companies are sitting on the sidelines telling women and children who are victims of players’ domestic violence they don’t care. It’s just how the game is played.