There is a bad week, and then there is the NFL equivalent of a bad week.
The National Football League has undergone extreme scrutiny lately, primarily due to recent events involving domestic violence cases. The week of Sept. 8 can already be regarded as one of the ugliest for the league in recent memory.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are, you’ve heard about Ray Rice and his Atlantic City incident with his then-fiancé.
The video of him punching and knocking her unconscious was released Sept. 8 and gave an image to what most had already suspected. Immediately, the Baltimore Ravens, Rice’s former team, terminated his contract as a cut-all-ties message.
The NFL even took a step in the right direction, moving what was Rice’s two-game suspension to a lifetime ban. But even that move drew criticism because it raised the question of could, or should, the league hand down second punishments after an already reached decision?
So, that was Monday; an ugly event that left every NFL fan ready to move on. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came under fire on Sept. 9 when reports indicated his office received a tape of the incident that occurred back in April. Goodell denied knowing about the tape before the general public did, but let’s take a moment to think.
If TMZ, a glorified paparazzi service, was able to get a hold of this tape, a tape the NFL didn’t know about, a tape that, apparently, law enforcement didn’t know about, a tape that did not in any way, shape or form come to the attention of the NFL, how can the NFL claim ignorance?
Then there was Friday. As if the football world had not been through enough, report of another star running back, Adrian Peterson, made its way to the surface, as he was arrested on charges of child abuse. Peterson was charged with disciplining his 4-year-old son with a switch (small tree branch) that left injuries all over the child’s legs.
Peterson claims he is a loving father who disciplined his son the way he himself was disciplined as a child, but a jury of his peers will decide this “loving” gesture’s validity.
The NFL, first off, needs to dismiss itself of Mr. Goodell. Love him or hate him, there is a small chance that he is telling the truth when he claims he did not see the tape. He saw the tape and chose to give one of the stars in the league a slap on the wrist instead of a heavy punishment.
With Peterson, NFL fans will have to wait to see what becomes of him. In the meantime, it is truly disheartening to see another great player of this league on the sideline due to an off-the-field issue.