Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Josh Brown Controversy Continues to Cast Shadow on NFL

Once again, the NFL is faced with yet another story of a player with several domestic abuse charges who was barely punished for his unacceptable behavior.

This time, it was Josh Brown, the placekicker of the New York Giants (my favorite team).

He had a history of domestic violence charges, with several violent incidents already reported. Apparently, the NFL had access to that kind of information and, once again, seemed to more or less shrug it off.

The Giants may or may not have known, although it does seem that they were aware that he had some history, but, according to them, not the extent of it. For their part, Giants players initially said that they stood by their teammate, until the extent of this whole thing began to be revealed. Then, they claimed not to have known, which is actually probably the truth.

Still, all in all, this is yet another controversy with a physically abusive man who, up until this story broke only a few days ago, had served only a one game suspension. Ben Roethlisberger initially was going to get a six game suspension after a second instance where a woman essentially accused him of rape, and these allegations were serious. To draw a comparison, Tom Brady, who is accused of playing a role in deflating footballs, served a four game suspension.

This is starting to be a very ugly trend in the NFL, with the whole Ray Rice thing not all that long ago still staining the league and it's legacy, or what passes as one. Yes, it was not all that long ago, but it seemed at the time to be a black eye on the face of the NFL, particularly for Commissioner Roger Goodell.

What this story shows, however, is that the NFL really has not learned any lessons, has not really gotten serious about clamping down on domestic abuse. Brown should have been suspended indefinitely without delay, right away. He should no longer be able to don any NFL uniform, and there should be absolutely no doubt left that this kind of behavior will cost a player everything. After all, Ray Rice has not been back on a football field ever since the story and, perhaps even more damning, the video of him punching his wife was released and produced a public outcry. Only then did the NFL act, and in the mind's of almost everyone, this response was far too little, and much too late.

There is likely no video this time around, yet the NFL will surely receive yet more criticism, and will have it's credibility questioned and under the microscope for a long, long time. And frankly, deservedly so.

Maybe, for that matter, it is time for Roger Goodell, or whoever seems to continuously wave these stories off until they become public outrages, to step down. Clearly, something is going wrong right now with the league that simply cannot be overlooked. This is the second time that the NFL has faced very serious scrutiny regarding it's mishandling of a domestic abuse, and if it hopes to avoid a third such instance, someone may very well need to take a fall. This simply cannot be allowed to happen again, period.

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