Is The NFL’s New Policy on Domestic Violence a Publicity Stunt?
Wide receiver Josh Gordon’s offense?
Let me get this straight. Violently assaulting a woman equates to a two game suspension, but failing a drug test amounts to an entire year on the bench?
No matter where your moral compass stands on smoking pot, I think we can all agree that beating your girlfriend up so badly that she is rendered unconscious is a far worse crime.
Perhaps not too surprisingly, just a few days after the fallout of this decision, which was stacked on top of the prior controversy regarding Rice’s lenient suspension, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has come out with a lengthy statement on how the NFL can do better.
We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place. My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didnít get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.
In addition to admitting fault, Goodell has, effective immediately, instituted a revamped domestic violence policy which punishes first time offenders with a six game suspension and second time offenders with a ban from the NFL for at least a year, after which an individual can petition for reinstatement.
While many have applauded the NFL for finally taking a stance on domestic violence, I for one am skeptical of the sincerity behind this announcement. After the incredible amount of bad press the league has received as they prepare to kick off the 2014 season, they would be crazy not to try to repair their image. After all, the NFL exists because of its fans and the public was overwhelmingly disappointed.
I have to wonder, had Gordon not been suspended so closely following the Rice scandal, would Goodell have even released this statement?
Sure his words sounds well intentioned, but the pessimistic side of me can’t help but think it’s just an attempt at getting some good press to outweigh all the criticism. With such a large platform and millions of fans to educate, I certainly hope I’m wrong
What do you think?
Photo Credit: NYCMarines