The NFL has been under attack lately for a slew of mishaps, and it seems like the more they try to deny or plead ignorance, the more trouble they get into.
The NFL isn’t new to being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Players have been scrutinized in the past for public intoxication, anabolic steroid use, and even traffic accidents. And the NFL is constantly under attack for the lack of safety in the game and the possible serious health effects it can have, such as concussions. But the most recent NFL debacles are making the other incidents look like slap-on-the-wrist incidents. Here’s a look at the two major NFL debacles occurring right now.
The Ray Rice Elevator Incident
In winter 2014,Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice was on an elevator with his then fiancé Janay, and he knockout punched her. The incident was caught on tape, along with Rice dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. Rice and the NFL are claiming that Rice told them about the incident, and based on his testimony, Rice was suspended for two games. However, in July 2014, TMZ released the video footage of the altercation, and Rice was released from the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL indefinitely.
It would seem as if the NFL handled the incident correctly, but perhaps they didn’t. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, has claimed from the beginning that he didn’t see the video footage until it was released in July by TMZ. Turns out, there’s proof that Goodell is lying. Sources have emerged saying that Goodell and the NFL called the New Jersey police department asking for a copy of the tape, and that a tape was supplied to the NFL commissioner’s office. If this is true, it means that Goodell had seen the tape—and what actually occurred—before giving Rice a meek two-game suspension. Only after the tape was leaked by TMZ did Goodell change his verdict.
Adrian Peterson’s Child Abuse Case
Shortly after the Ray Rice incident, the NFL came under fire again after Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson was arrested on charges of child abuse. Peterson turned himself in, admitting to hitting his son with a switch, a stick-like object, as punishment. He has publicly apologized and placed his own bond. Although he was kept from playing in one game, Peterson hasn’t received any formal punishment from the NFL. Instead, his team and the NFL are standing behind him, saying they will “monitor the situation closely”. Peterson is due in court in October.
Will Things Ever Change?
Right now, the NFL is under scrutiny for the way it handled two violent incidents. One player gets a minor punishment for abusing his child, and another player gets permanently released only after proof is leaked to the media. Roger Goodell and other members of the NFL are being closely monitored now due to their handling of the situation, and many people are hoping that Goodell either resigns or is terminated from his position as commissioner. It seems as if the NFL’s handling of child and domestic violence situations will only change if leadership and policies change, but who is willing to take over Goodell’s position and institute the necessary change?