Indifference: The National Football League’s response to abuse


The National Football League’s (NFL’s) latest response to admitted abuse of a spouse by one of their employees raises a simple question… Is the National Football League a hugely successful business, or an organized crime syndicate cloaked as sports entertainment? Simply, the latter.

Incredibly, another NFL player, New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, came forward and admitted to abusing his wife and endangering his children on numerous occasions. What’s not shocking is that Brown came forward after signing a 2-year, 4 million dollar contract to, occasionally, kick a ball. The NFL, dragging their feet, suspended Brown for one game. The New York Giants organization, keeping in step with dysfunctional locker room culture, issued statements that they would not abandoned their “made-man” in his hour of need. (Wellington Mara is weeping over the disgrace his son, John, has become with his “play dumb” approach to Brown’s actions). When will society stand-up and speak-up about the actions of some of the players. We can never forget that our children look up to these players as heroes…in some cases…miss-guided role models. The price of athletic privilege should carry with it a duty and obligation to conduct oneself in an ethically and morally responsible manner. Children are watching.

Let’s return to Brown for a moment, perhaps he can also be an effective [negative] advisor for abusers. The game plan is simple: when the walls are closing in on you, admit some of your criminal behavior, paint yourself in a sympathetic light, and on fourth down invoke religion as the final layer of Kevlar against those who are sick of the academic approach to stopping abuse. There are only so many ways to stand in front of people and lecture about abuse… Actions will always speak louder than words and The NFL and the NY Giants must begin to walk the talk and make strides to end this double standard and cloak of player protection.

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