by Justin McKinney, Staff Writer
To say that I have a love affair with the game of football would be an understatement.
I spent my whole life until college playing the game, and every Sunday in the fall since I can remember, I watched countless amounts of NFL football games. Hell, football has brought me more joy and happiness than most of my family members.
However, due to the lack of leadership from Commissioner Rodger Goodell, the NFL—the pinnacle of American football—has become a safe haven for domestic abusers.
In May of 2015, police arrived at the home of New York Giants kicker Josh Brown. They walked in to find Brown’s wife, Molly, with a red mark and a bleeding cut on her wrist from her husband assaulting her.
That same night Molly Brown also detailed twenty other previous incidents where she was assaulted by her husband.
One includes an incident during a vacation to Hawaii, where Brown reports she was thrown into a mirror by her husband at the hotel they were staying in.
The end result of the arrest was a court date with no conviction of domestic abuse, however Molly Brown was issued a protection order against her husband, Josh.
While the legal system was caught in a bind with the fact there wasn’t nearly enough physical evidence or testimony outside of Molly Brown’s own to convict her husband, the NFL as a private organization had the opportunity to deliver some form of justice.
While I wouldn’t expect Josh Brown to be thrown out of the NFL, it would have been amazing to see a fairly large suspension, perhaps four to eight games.
A statement from Goodell discussing how he is protecting the integrity of the league, much like the one he gave when he issued Tom Brady’s four game suspension for under-inflated balls, should have happened.
However, not so shockingly, none of that happened. Goodell issued an extremely pointless one-game sus-pension to Josh Brown and no statement worth anything to anyone who actually cares about the well-being of the many people caught in abusive relationships.
I have said it once and I’ll say it a thousand times: the entire situation is beyond disgusting.
Like I mentioned before, I have been watching football for as long as I can remember, and I’m not the only one who believes that football is the most viewed sport on television, as well as the most popular high school sport in America.
Young people look up to these athletes. I can almost guarantee that if you walk around a high school football locker room that you’ll find more guys who know who OBJ is than JFK. These kids watch these players like hawks, and naturally that leads to the chance that they could be easily influenced by what they see their idols doing.
When Goodell hands these players such horribly light suspensions, it more or less tells these kids that it is okay to treat women as objects and that even if you decide to assault them, society does not care.
Goodell has had countless opportunities, from Greg Hardy to Ray Rice, to prove to football fans everywhere that he will end this endless pattern of domestic abuse that’s spreading throughout the league, but countless times he has failed us.
He needs to be removed as commissioner of the NFL if the league has any desire to change their reputation as the “abuser haven” that has been created.
Goodell has even fined players such as Steelers cornerback William Gay for wearing teal cleats in support of domestic abuse because they didn’t fit the Steelers color scheme. This man could not care less about the message he is sending to young people in America, or the way in which these abusive players are destroying the reputation of America’s best sport.
If we truly want an NFL built for today, tomorrow, and years to come, the owners of the league need to step up and let Rodger Goodell know that he is no longer welcome as league commissioner, firing him once and for all.