Where are we right now as a society? Are we really making improvements and strides? These are questions that needs to be not only asked but truly answered. Not the typical scripted answers from legal teams. No. We need to evaluate ourselves and ask ourselves, do we care. As I look around to what is taking place in sports, I’ve concluded no real progress has been made. Sure, the NFL as a league has implemented rules in attempt to save face but do not fall for the illusion of caring. After this week, the illusion has been debunked.
In 2014, the NFL implemented a new domestic violence policy after the Ray Rice video occurred. Prior to the 2014 Ray Rice incident. The NFL has had this issue before but nothing was done internally nor externally to make improvements. For example, in 2006, Randy Starks was charged with domestic violence, eight years before the 2014 domestic violence rule.
One would think in any case, domestic violence would be taken more seriously but not in this case. Starks was only dismissed for one preseason game. Only, one preseason game. No further punishment was given and the NFL only ordered to receive counseling. The NFL waited years after this incident along with others to make a statement. Time and time again, there’s a waiting game. To me, it speaks directly to the owners and men who control the business of the NFL. In lieu of creating internalchanges in order to rectify issues that are directly damaging and affecting the lives of the abused in a timely manner, the NFL; along with other organizations, has cared more about the external profit and views. They ask for the pressure they can’t deliver on.
By no means am I calling for jobs without investigations. I do not believe in taking away a career based on he say, she say or no proof that the accused committed the crime. Here is thing, the investigation has to first take place. This week in the NFL, has been a rollercoaster that has seen plenty of ticketholders. Specifically speaking about the Kareem Hunt incident and his assault incident that took place in Cleveland nine months ago. That is right, nine months ago. Here is what we know has transpired thus far. The NFL and the Chiefs had knowledge of the incident. The NFL never interviewed Hunt nor the victim; who allegedly was underage drinking and repeatedly called Hunt the n-word. The NFL instructed the Chiefs to stop pursuing the video. Everything that has been presented so far in Hunt’s case shows every side was knowledgeable of the situation and if TMZ; who obtained the video, didn’t purchase the tape from the hotel, Hunt would’ve been getting suited up for his next game.
Whether or not the allegation that the woman was underage drinking while spewing derogatory names at Hunt is true or not, one thing is for sure. The NFL knew about the incident and tried to cover it up. They’d rather care about external success rather than internal chaos. It is not like we have not seen the NFL pursue investigations before or comradery with not signing a player. We’ve seen a two year investigation fully dedicated to Deflategate and Tom Brady. We’re witnessing the NFL keep Colin Kaepernick being kept out of the NFL for nothing illegal nor malicious. However, the NFL fought for nine months to keep this Hunt video from surfacing. This is a clear slap in the face and a complete sign of nonchalant towards domestic violence. Also shows where priority with power lies.
Whatever happens in this case, moving forward the NFL has to be held accountable. Will they? They showed us more times than not, they won’t be held accountable at all. Rueben Foster has had three arrest this year which includes two domestic violence charges.
After the dismissal of the first charge, one would think Foster would learn from his mistake and not go down that road again. Oddly enough, it was a road game he brought his girlfriend on when he was arrested for the third time. This lead to Fosters release from the 49ners. Good job, one franchise got it right. Remember when I brought up comradery? Where was it when Foster was signed by the Redskins? There was none because ultimately, Foster could play again once he’s cleared from the exempt list and the Redskins would have rights to him. What message are they sending the kids in the play 60 program, especially the young girls who participate in the program? If you’re good enough to play or be profitable in this league as a man, we’ll accept your multiple abuse baggage accusation. Bigger picture for young girls is the world does not have your back if you tell your side of the story. Even in the case of Foster whose initial case was dismissed due to accuser recanting her story, only so much can be believed after multiple accusation. Time away is needed. I do; however, understand every situation is different and the response should be tailored to it.
I don’t think it is only a NFL problem, but an issue with respecting boundaries and keeping your damn hands to yourself when you’re not being bothered. Everyone has to learn. The league needs make it clear, we will not allow this to go on. In order to do so, there has to be a league wide agreeance between owners, NFLPA and individually that enough is enough. If not, the message to women will become the same message to minorities. You don’t care.