After this week of horrible publicity for the National Football League, I have to admit I'm not as interested in watching it anymore. I've been disillusioned. It really is just another business dedicated to making money and "protecting the shield." I should've always known that but dammit, I felt involved every time "my teams" played. I supported them in every way I could. Blind loyalty. But because of what we've found out going on behind closed elevator doors and in 'whipping rooms' of a player's home, I've gone from checking a football player's 'stats' to finding out whether or not he can keep from abusing 'his woman' or his child.
I'm disappointed in myself for thinking a business that promotes a violent game and is dominated by men would even acknowledge an issue like domestic violence much less handle it properly. As a survivor of domestic violence, the NFL is acting exactly like I thought they would in saying things like: "It's between a man and a woman." "That's their personal business." "But he's such a great guy." "He's one of our superstars." "He's done so much for the community." "Did you see what she did to him?" "I'd knock somebody out, too if they spit on me." "We can't take their livelihoods away from them." "He's entitled to 'due process.'" "He's playing today because he is appealing his CONVICTION and we need him on the field!" "African-American men deal with 'their women' differently." "That's just how he was raised." "It's not like the fans or the sponsors will go away." "It will blow over soon enough." "Roger has made us a lot of money...we'll be fine. Besides, this isn't "Bounty-Gate," right?" And "Gotta protect 'the shield' at all costs."
I also heard this:
"If I were #12, I'd keep 'my woman' in her place. She has a job in the public eye, for God's sake--she makes more money than he does! How is a real man supposed to take that day after day after day? Maybe if he'd smack her around now and then, she wouldn't think she's so high and mighty.. He'd better show that b***h who wears the jock in his house." Unfortunately, these comments are not unusual.
As for why there are so few arrests/reports:
When there is a domestic violence call, the responders are mostly male cops. These cops usually never see the victim themselves but are met by the perpetrator who qualifies his actions by using the old "she's drunk,""she's just crazy," "you know how it is with women" and "look guys, she attacked me and I was just trying to keep her from hurting herself...but I'm fine and this is all just a big misunderstanding." Then when the cops leave (with no report filed or arrest made) the perpetrator says something to his victim like, "Cops said next time you bother them with this s**t they'll take your ass to jail," "see, even the cops think you're crazy," and "They bought my version of what happened."
That's exactly what the NFL did, too. As the Ravens owner said regarding Rice, they "heard what they wanted to hear in the story because they wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and they loved Ray."
That's how the "men behind the NFL machine" really handle off the field violence and we aren't surprised a bit. Damn.
Just as we thought.