Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AND THEY WERE WORRIED ABOUT MICHAEL SAM?




Remember when the media was obsessed with Michael Sam and how his homosexuality
and presence would impact the NFL and the locker room of the St. Louis Rams? Josina
Anderson of ESPN went so far as to manufacture a lame, unprofessional report on the
showering habits of the rookie defensive end. They were treating Sam like he was
anything but the person of high-character he is.

Man, after the last week in the NFL, the league could only hope they had more players
like Michael Sam. Dometic violence, child abuse, and a failure of leadership by Roger
Goodell has the NFL on the verge of a tipping point. The most powerful league on the
planet has suddenly appeared to be the weakest.


Goodell ducked out of an appearance at Levi Stadium, the $1.2 billion spanking new
stadium of the San Francisco 49ers and has been nowhere to be found at the time of
the NFL's biggest crisis. Sponsors aren't happy and lampooners are having a field day.
"Get your game face on". Yep, a woman with a black eye. Nice


The NFL suffered a week unlike any other in the history of the league. The brutal Ray
Rice video emerged and that one punch triggered an avalanche of bad news.
Adrian Peterson was arrested for injury to a child. We didn't think anything could be
worse that a man cold-cocking a woman, but torturing a child with a "switch" is about as
bad as it gets. The Minnesota Vikings deactivated Peterson for Sunday's game against
the New England Patriots. The Carolina Panthers in turn, deactivated Greg Hardy,
an All-Pro defensive player, who was convicted of domestic violence in July.

 
However, a lot of people are acting like the NFL has been full of choir boys and
this is an aberration. It is not. Have we forgotten that Aaron Hernandez allegedly
murdered a man in cold blood just over a year ago? Doesn't anyone remember
Michael Vick spending two years in a federal prison after his dogfighting ring
was exposed? People see to forget that former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth ordered
a hit on his pregnant girlfriend.

Since 2000, 700 NFL players have been arrested. That' a startling number no matter
how you slice it. Fact is, the NFL is, was, and always be a league filled with players
of questionable character. Many of them come out of low socioeconomic areas
and raised by a single parent. I'm not saying every player who had to battle their
way out of poverty and broken homes are people of bad character, but a lot of
them and they are playing in the NFL.


The NFL is not for the faint of heart. These players are often the meanest,
nastiest, and most cutthroat athletes in the country. That's just the way it is. It is a
brutal sport. Only the strong survive. That's a cliche' I know, but it's a fact.

The NFL will survive and endure this embarrassing scandal. It is close to bullet
proof, but it's players are not. Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice will never recover
from their terribly bad behavior. Sure, they will play again, just as Vick and
others who have committed terrible crimes have, but they never, ever be whole
again.

A player like Michael Sam may never be the players Peterson and Rice were, but
they will never be the man that he is. Never. The league needs more players like
Sam, not fewer. It remains to be seen whether or not Sam is good enough to play
in the NFL, but he's good enough a man to represent it.

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