The Hypocrisy is Getting Real
By Robert LaRosa
How important is football in America? For starters, there’s one day out of the week dedicated to it.
Every Sunday, fans all across America and the world get together to watch their favorite team, players, or simply appreciate the beauty of the sport. From someone who literally breathes football, I love the sport and what it does for people, communities, and the values it’s taught me.
But, the game is not what it used to be, and much hypocrisy follows it lately.
Football is one of the more violent sports compared to basketball and baseball. With any sport, there’s always a chance of injury, but it football injuries are far more severe and have lasting effects on players. Players know what the risks of playing. However the NFL seems to cover up some of the most serious issues dealing with concussions and a ridiculous increase in suicide from retired players.
It’s a sad display of denial when the owners and commissioner stand in front of reporters and pretend everything is okay because they just received twelve billion dollars in revenue last year (a 16 percent increase from last season), or that they have topped television ratings again and again with every passing super bowl. The real question is why should any average fan care?
Take yourself out of the picture and look around at the sport we love and you’ll start to notice little details. Giant forms of hypocrisy to even the slightest forms of it. So what that players get injured? It’s part of the game! As true as that may be, the players know what they’re signing up for. However the players call out issues with more and more primetime games being played every week. For a league that “preaches” player safety, there is nothing safe about playing a Sunday night game and then playing a Thursday night game. Texans star running back Arian Foster called out the league with their double standard saying “I don’t know a player that likes it, I don’t know a fan that likes it, either. I think it’s the leagues way of trying to generate more revenue.”
Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. “They emphasize concussions when they start getting hit with lawsuits and they care about the players’ safety but Thursday Night Football is putting every player on the football field in danger.” Giving these players only three days to rest is just as dangerous as playing the sport. It really comes down to the league not caring about the players they have, just as long as they make more money than last season and as long as public outcry isn’t making headlines across the country everything should be fine.
Speaking of public outcry, the NFL doesn’t give a damn about domestic violence. Yea, we see commercials with current and former players demanding “No More” for domestic and sexual violence but when former Ravens half back Ray Rice punched his then-fiancee out cold in an elevator, the NFL slapped him with a two game suspension. Two games for brutally knocking out your significant other and then denying any evidence of footage? It took TMZ to expose the real situation when they released the surveillance video of the attack and the public outcry went from zero to one hundred in the blink of an eye.
Then former MVP Adrian Peterson beats his son with a tree branch and leaves damages all over his torso and lower body. I guess we’ll slap together some anti-violence message on T.V and everything will be ok, right? Well Peterson is back to playing in the league this year and Ray Rice probably will never find work again in this sport but the real tragedy is that Rice’s incident becomes more of a punchline than a real issue. Since we’re talking about the NFL’s bullshit stand on domestic violence how about Patriots owner Robert Kraft hanging out with Floyd Mayweather in the box suites at Gillette Stadium. The boxer with a storied career who literally has as many boxing victories as domestic violence charges. It’s ok because commissioner Roger Goodell is going to make everything okay. So he screwed up with two giant cases, people make mistakes right? Well how about we come crashing down on a team that might or might not have deflated a football in a playoff game by 1-2 psi’s?
With more speculation than anything else, the Patriots were handed the largest fine in league history and quarterback Tom Brady eventually had his four game suspension lifted in court. So if you beat your wife or kid you get slapped on the wrist with two games but so help you God if your ball boys take a tiny bit of air out of a football. It seemed to a lot of media that Goodell was trying to make up for other cases by really coming down on this one and that’s not justice. Especially not to the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and even murder.
If you want to talk about integrity look at what you have playing on the field and if you don’t like it, then do something about it. It becomes so clear to the public that these players can do pretty much anything they want and there’s almost never a consequence for their actions and when there is a consequence, the form of discipline is never consistent with this league. At the end of the day, as long as this business makes money, they don’t care what happens off the field and that makes this league look so weak.
They want to set examples but when everything seems to start falling apart with former players killing themselves from years of brain damage to star players breaking the law, they try their hardest to cover it up. The cover up is only to pretend that everything is one hundred percent okay with the league and nothing is going wrong. This front office literally lies to the fans faces every time tragedy strikes. All these hollow attempts at making the game safer but adding more primetime games, expanding the regular season from 16 to 18 games, expanding playoffs and so on. That doesn’t sound like a league trying to help protect their players, it sounds like a league trying to protect their pockets once their way of life becomes exposed.
Look I’m all for discipline in sports but would it kill this league to show the public that they have some sort of consistency? This last controversy was all about the integrity of the game. Integrity? Where is it because I would love to find some in this league. How can a bunch of billionaires sit here and preach about player safety and integrity when they cover up disturbing suicide trends, shady murders, sexual assault cases, domestic violence, child abuse cases and DUI cases? If more people and players spoke out against this, we would have change. “Now I can see how fake you can be. This hypocrisy is beginning to get to me.”