With Roger Goodell at the helm, the NFL is slowly changing. Many issues are coming to the forefront. The Shield is under attack and the commissioner is taking a lot of the heat. We all know the NFL is in a constant battle with illegal drugs, drinking and driving, performance drugs, and concussions just to name a few. Now other issues usually not addressed in the NFL are taking center stage.
Commissioner Goodell began the 2014 NFL season with a bang. Michael Sam became the face of a movement when he decided to â€œcome outâ€ to the world about his sexual orientation. This began a firestorm about how to deal with homosexuality in the locker room and on the field. We have all heard derogatory wordsÂ regarding sexual orientation being said to other peopleÂ when they do not do well, peer pressure, or for so-called motivation. A few former NFL players who came out after their playing days all stated how they had to hear these words and a few others. They had to endure this as they hid their true selves. All of this led to sensitivity training for NFL players and coaches. People forget there was a story before Michael Sam stating there was an NFL player wanting to come out but feared what would happen. Many former players talked about, but not naming, teammates that were always in question. With Michael Sam opening the door, how many other players will find the courage to announce their sexual preferences? If it were a star, elite, and high-profile player to make this announcement, how accepted would it be? Only time will tell and I have a feeling it will be soon.
The Ray Rice situation, the latest in the NFL saga, is still setting the media on fire. There is a â€œghostâ€ tape Commissioner Goodell said he never seen until shown by TMZ. Well I believe him because the Baltimore Ravens stated theÂ same thing. There is the â€œyou went too easy on himâ€ to the â€œyou canâ€™t suspend him like thatâ€ talk. People you cannot have it both ways! Now it is time for the blame game. You see the Twitter remarks from players talking about the owners should fire Roger Goodell. Wait, most of you players demanding this manâ€™s job are not producing for your teams. Maybe they should fire YOU! Roger Goodell admitted to dropping the ball. He stated he should have interviewed Ray Rice and his wife separately. Now the Ravens are stating they were NOT at the interview. However, the NFL Network AND ESPN stated that Baltimore Ravens representatives were in the meeting. You expect me to believe they wereÂ there taking notes and serving donuts! Oh no, I do not think so. The tape comes out, Goodell suspends indefinitely, and the Ravens terminates Ray Rice contract. Here is my way of thinking. Ozzie Newsome stated, â€œThe story Ray Rice told us is exactly what we saw on the tapeâ€. Now the owner said, â€œRay Rice said he slapped herâ€. Therefore, someone is lying. The Ravens dropped the ball because they did NOTHING until that second tape surfaced. If Newsome is telling the truth, the Ravens knew how bad the situation was and said nothing. I digress.
The Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald situations are a bit different. The NFL I feel was correct in waiting to decide on a punishment for their actions. A judge found Hardy guilty of assaulting and threatening his former girlfriend in July. He is in the process of an appeal. They got this one right. The Carolina Panthers on the other hand waited too long to react. The way I see it a team has every right to discipline their players without waiting for the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers has yet to do anything with McDonald. The owner and head coach both stated how they will not and do not tolerate domestic violence. However, they do believe in due process and will wait things out. Could the real reason they are not doing anything is because two of their defensive stars are already out? Think what you want. I believe so. I am not saying fire the guy. I think doing as the Panthers have done for Greg Hardy. Sit him down to get his legal affairs in order. Oh but wait, that defense cannot lose another start player. Never mind.
The Adrian Peterson situationÂ is one of the worse. There is a very and I do mean very fine line between abuse and discipline. If what Peterson did is abuse, my mother should be in jail (LOL). Just joking. I think the key issue here is the age of the child. I do not believe you should whip a four-year old with any object. My mother used an open hand directly on my bottom. I am not going to lie. When I was older, she introduced the switch and the belt. It was at that point I realized getting a whipping was not something to look forward to so I cleaned up my act. The Minnesota Vikings stumbled but did get this issue correct. Placing Peterson on the Exempt Commissionerâ€™s List was the best thing. It takes the spotlight off the team and allows Adrian toÂ deal withÂ his legal issues.
I touched on these topics just to express how I feel about a few things. Commissioner Roger Goodell does not need to step down. These NFL players are just mad because they finally have a commissioner that forces them to pay for their stupid mistakes. This is an ongoing issue since Bounty Gate! Do you seriously think Drew Brees would fight that hard if they investigated the Â 49ers defense for having a bounty on his head during games? I think not! In addition, how bad off do you think the Dallas Cowboys would be if Goodell were at the helm instead of Tagliabue in the 90â€™s? Even during the Pete Rozelle era, there was cocaine use issues. If you do not believe me, ask Thomas â€œHollywoodâ€ Henderson. Now the NFL has a man in charge that will do what it takes to protect the shield. He will lay down heavy fines and suspensions because he feels these men should know better. All of these people asking Goodell to step down are just hopping on the bandwagon. You see this as a way to get your name in the press where otherwise you would only be a footnote. Is that right Sidney Rice, Tedy Bruschi, Mark Schlereth and Donovan McNabb? It is about time someone makes these overgrown babies take responsibility for their actions. Moreover, if the man who is known for handing down harsh penalties has viewed the video tape, would he be THAT easy on Rice? Who is to say the police department is not covering their own asses about the tape? Is it true the Ravens never saw the tape either? The man admitted he was wrong. Let us move on. The NFL has a lot of other things to brace themselves for in the next few years. I believe a few star NFL players WILL come forth about their sexuality. The news will set the NFL on its ass so all of this will be an afterthought. Besides, domestic and child abuse goes on more than we know in the NFL. If there was not a video of Rice or the pictures of Petersonâ€™s son, would we even care? Be honest with yourself. The old saying goes out of sight out of mind. Thanks Lady Cas for allowing us to voice our opinions. I am pretty sure I will hear A LOT of opinions on these topics I have touched on.
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