In the wake of 2 recent NFL scandals, I am left asking how in 2014 can this still be such a discussion? The NFL has been a supporter for Breast Cancer Awareness- I remember all the pink on the field and all the manly men speaking about breast cancer. I see the league wanting more women to be fans and commercials about players giving back to the community. Commercials that reach your heart-strings that symbolize children, family, helping others in need, at risk children being nurtured by father figures. The Dallas Cowboys raising #1.8 billion for the Salvation Army.
On the surface one would say I am so proud that the United States as a society gives the National Football League such a high respected position of near god like status. You would want to believe that this is a good thing and that so many people who fill stadiums, buy tickets, support sponsors, play fantasy football and buy memorabilia must be supporting a something that benefits society in ways we as individuals cannot even begin to imagine.
As with the scandal in the Catholic Church years ago, we all knew- and we all know now-
This dark side of professional football was outed in 1979 in the film based on a book both titled North Dallas Forty by Pete Gent. He wrote about his experiences in the late 60s. Here it is in the year 2014 and still many things are the same. Dallas Cowboy owner, Jerry Jones is currently involved in a scandal surrounding the allegations of sexual assault from an exotic dancer (descriptions of photos imply some exotic contact) and his attorneys are using a statute of limitations defense . I guess that’s easier than the truth defense. Jones, 71, is married with three adult children and is proud to raise money for the Salvation Army, a faith-based Christain non- profit organization dedicated to helping prostituted victims of trafficking. Can we say guilt money?
- Why should we care that a man, father, husband and owner of THE major NFL team is in a scandal with an exotic dancer .
- Why should be care that a player who beat his then girlfriend on video was given a pass by the league Commissioner until the video was “leaked?” It’s alleged that the Commissioner knew of the video, could it be attempted, alleged cover up?
- Why would he need the second video?
- Why was a 2 game suspension enough punishment for what in criminal law would be an assault?
- Should he be held less accountable because she loved him, seems that he should be more accountable.
- What would he do to a stranger, or someone who didn’t love him?
Do we live in a society that allows and supports women being treated as objects- well let’s put it to a test?
What if this exotic dancer would have beaten Jones in an elevator on film? Would she get a 2 dance suspension?
What if the girlfriend, now wife of Ray Rice, would have been caught in photos with another man’s hands on her breasts, and then accused of assault? Maybe she could have injured Rice and caused him to be unable to play? Maybe she might have given him a concussion? Oh wait, he could still play! Would she be celebrated? Would she lose anything, especially if she were a public figure, maybe running for office or part of a large organization? Would he be blamed or feel guilty about making her do that to him? Why didn’t he just leave?
One can only imagine, in fact, it’s hard to even imagine the reverse because neither these women, nor Jones’ wife, would be held in such a high status .In our current society would an exotic dancer’s fate be known? Would the wife of an executive who had three children with him be protected due to his bad behavior? Would a new wife have the value to society that Rice does? Will their future children witness violence?
Will the Salvation Army continue its relationship with Jones if it is found that he frequents commercial sex? Or will they give up the money raised to help trafficked victims which most commercial sex involves?
Who will take up for what is right and not what is convenient?
However, right on Terry! It is up to men! We are a culture that is behind in our respect for each other especially regarding sex, violence and gender. No child should witness what we saw in the elevator, no woman should be let down in the judicial system. Anyone who could stop this prosecutor, employer, sponsors, friends, family, peer organizations should use their power to do so. No man should purchase a woman at a strip club, in person, or online. This must stop! No man, no matter how mad, should hit. We need to ask “why he hits?” not “why does she stay?”
We need to make sure men who hit women and buy sex know that those activities are often linked. You cannot respect your spouse or significant other while buying sex from others. Violence and sex are linked and the culture of porn, prostitution and stripping are adding fuel to this fire in a way that grows exponentially.
Do the people who want a good football season care about Jones’ accuser and Rice’s victim? Goodall’s alleged cover for Rice? Or, do they want their football? Is there any organization too big to fail? Ask the Romans.
You know now, and remember, we knew!
Let’s not give a season pass to the NFL, Rice or Jones on these issues, let’s use this to each what real manhood means in the United States in 2014.