The NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, have worked hard to create an image of good character and responsibility by being unbending with their domestic violence policy. However, without question, this moral code is nothing more than a facade with no functionality. This zero-tolerance attitude is constructed to appear as the height of moral correctness for the company in an effort to appeal to conservative viewers, who are the NFL’s main source of income.
The flaws of this illusion are illustrated in the way the NFL pats itself on the back for “doing the right thing” each time it suspends a player for even an allegation of domestic violence. The NFL protects itself from the criticism of feminist viewers and scores points with a community who is constantly looking for confirmation black men are dangerous.
Perhaps this is a biased claim and a reach for an injustice that simply is not there.
That would be fair criticism if the NFL wasn’t so weak and inconsistent on issues it claims to stand for. Goodell is able to tout the righteous and justice-oriented image of the league when it comes to domestic violence, but where is that firm and honest character when it comes to issues like police brutality and mass incarceration?
The NFL is already being political by taking a stance on domestic violence, and issues like police brutality and mass incarceration are problems that affect 70% of its players.
One would think a company would care about the problems that affect the majority of its employees. However, the NFL has previously chosen to remain “apolitical” and has established a position that echoes white supremacist sentiment. Its selective silence says, “the black and brown men we employ are good enough to play ball for us, but not good enough for us to defend their rights.”
While Goodell expressed pride toward players’ response to Donald Trump’s aggressive comments regarding kneeling during the national anthem, the commissioner frames it as just that: a jab at the president. At the heart of the issue, the protests have little to do with Trump and everything to do with police brutality.
Roger Goodell showed the league’s true motives when he issued a statementon Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end Michael Bennett’s unnecessarily rough interaction with the police. In the statement Goodell claims to support Bennett and “fair and equal treatment under the law,” because, “Michael Bennett represents the best of the NFL and is a leader on his team and his community.” Only a few months earlier, Colin Kaepernick took a knee for the same cause and Goodell condemned Kaepernick, saying “we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL.”
Both men took the same stance on the same issue in the same fashion. Why did Goodell praise one and condemn the other? The primary difference between Kaepernick and Bennett is the former is a hated enemy in the eyes of some viewers, thanks to the hate he has received from conservative media.
The NFL cannot stand with the poor and disenfranchised on issues that would offend their conservative viewers because they don’t usually buy tickets to NFL games or expensive merchandise. While both sides of the political spectrum probably enjoy the sport of football equally, one side generates significantly more revenue based on who can afford tickets and merchandise. Roger Goodell and the NFL have no concrete moral code. Their moral compass always points to wherever there is more money.
– Carrington Tatum is an electronic media sophomore and a hurt Cowboys fan