You would think that I wake up every morning and just hope and pray that I get to rip on Roger Goodell but I don’t. I’ve said all I can say regarding my feelings towards him as the Commissioner of the National Football League, but then more news just keeps coming out and it always seems to come back to Goodell.
Today is unfortunately one of those days.
Rather than come forward and address his decision to suspend Ray Rice for just two games for domestic violence, Goodell sent out one of his minions in the form of NFL Vice-President Adolpho Birch. While his name sounds like that of a villain from a James Bond movie, Birch wasn’t nearly as entertaining as he appeared today on ESPN’s ‘Mike and Mike.’
This was the gist of Birch’s comment on why he feels the discipline was fair…
“Listen, I think if you are any player and you think that based on this decision that it’s OK to go out and commit that kind of conduct, I think that is something that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do that,” Birch said Monday. “So in terms of sending a message about what the league stands for, we’ve done that. We can talk about the degree of discipline, we can talk about whether or not third parties need to be involved. I would suggest to you that a third party has been involved in this matter and that was the court that reviewed it, the prosecutor that reviewed it.
“But if it is a question about what the principle of the league is and what standards we stand by, that cannot be questioned. I think it is absolutely clear to all involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will not tolerate it in our league. I don’t know how you can reach a conclusion other than that although I certainly respect the opinion.”
Is this guy freaking serious? He asks how you can reach a conclusion other than that (the NFL won’t tolerate domestic abuse). Well let me think about that for a minute Adolpho. The reason why the overwhelming majority of Americans find this penalty to be horrendously weak is that it completely counters the very argument the Commissioner has made since he took the job. “Protect the shield.”
How is giving a woman beater a two-game sentence protecting the shield? Terrelle Pryor received a five-game suspension for getting free tattoos while in college. The NFL is sending the message that beating one’s fiance or wife or girlfriend is less of a big deal than getting free ink. In what fantasy world is this even remotely comprehensible?
I realize Mr. Birch is just towing the company line here and is taking all of flak that Roger Goodell should be taking but where are the morals of this man? Does he really think the message of two games is going to send any kind of message to other players? If anything, perhaps NFL players will do less PEDs and illegal drugs because the know the penalty is steeper than hitting a woman.
I hate to go there and realize that sounds insensitive but the league clearly doesn’t get the firestorm it has created.