The NFL is Only About Money, Not About Ethics
The NFL has gone through more turmoil the beginning of this season than it ever has in its history. Running back Ray Rice and defensive ends Greg Hardy and Ron McDonald were all charged with a domestic violence crimes, star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for child abuse, RB Johnathan Dwyer was arrested for assaulting a woman AND a child, and receivers Justin Blackmon, Josh Gordon, and Wes Welker were caught and suspended for the use of illicit drugs/narcotics. Without a doubt, the enforcement of NFL policy has failed and these crimes are truly the black eye of this league.
When I first heard about the Ray Rice fiasco, I began writing an article about how Roger Goodell and the NFL were doing a good job in assessing fair and just punishments for these crimes. Criminal charges against Ray Rice were dropped and Rice was sentenced to counseling. I thought that Goodell made a prudent decision by following suit and handing out a similar light-handed punishment (2-game suspension).
But after and waiting for each situation to completely unfold, three things happened that instantly changed my mind:
- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell rescinded his original punishment of Ray Rice from 2 games to indefinitely after corporate sponsors pulled out of their sponsorship and affiliation with the league (chiefly due to public outcry following the release of the infamous Ray Rice domestic abuse video). Bad pub which led to decrease in sponsorship led to his change of heart, not assessing the severity of the crime itself.
- With knowledge of a pending child abuse case against Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings declared Peterson active for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. They changed course on Wednesday and barred Peterson from all team activities until his child abuse case is resolved. The Vikings pulled back from allowing Peterson to play after heavy criticism from corporate sponsors, charity partners and Minnesota governor Mark Dayton. “We made a mistake, and we need to get this right,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said Wednesday. “It is important to always listen to our fans, the community and our sponsors.” Again, it wasn’t until their wallet began to shrink that they had a change of heart.
- The NFL and its union announced agreement Wednesday on improvements to the policy that instituted more relaxed penalties for those that offend it. In doing so, receivers Wes Welker and Stedman Bailey, and cornerback Orlando Scandrick are now eligible to return for Week 3 as a result of the new policy. All three players had received four-game suspensions for testing positive for substances that now will be eligible to return under the substance abuse policy. Playing these star talents obviously helps with increase revenue for all teams involved.
Ray Rice’s initial 2-game suspension was clearly not enough, Adrian Peterson certainly shouldn’t have been playing if charged with child abuse, and NFL players shouldn’t be using or supporting the use of illicit drugs. All three instances demonstrate the NFL’s complete disregard for doing what is moral and ethical and doing what is best for themselves and their pocketbook. The NFL benefits financially when putting star talent on the field, and they clearly do not care that a woman or child is abused by any of its employees in order for this to happen.
Roger Goodell should be fired. Plain and simple.