On a day in which the New York Giants finally did the right thing by cutting ties with admitted domestic abuser Josh Brown, tonight on Real Sports on HBO, Bryant Gumbel’s closing comments really hit home with how many are feeling about the NFL and their relaxed policies it seems like these days on these abusers.
“Finally tonight, a simple question: Just what do Roger Goodell and his NFL owners think domestic abuse looks like?
I ask because the guys in charge of pro football seem to find it repulsive only when confronted with the ugliest and most obvious kinds of evidence. The league’s latest embarrassment is Josh Brown, who’s now the ex-kicker of the New York Giants, not because he abused his wife with frightening regularity for years but because others found and exposed the kind of detailed evidence of that abuse that the NFL didn’t.
So now, as was the case in the infamous Ray Rice episode, the league is once again claiming lack of details as the reason for giving slaps on the wrist to a guy who’d already admitted to battering his wife. Predictably, the commissioner and his slew of TV apologists are claiming concern, expressing sympathy, and asking for understanding. None of which is deserved because we’ve seen this act before and it sadly lacks the ring of truth as they try to bury the story.
What seems pathetically and abundantly clear is that NFL honchos are either unable or unwilling to address domestic violence properly; that they just don’t prioritize the abuse of women. Deflated footballs? They exhaust all avenues. Battered women? Not so much. Look, I’m sure it’s not as profitable but instead of trying to appeal to women by draping players in patronizing pink, how about paying better attention to black and blue?”