Over the past few weeks, domestic violence has grabbed national headlines, mostly due to the fact that the most powerful sports league in America has done a poor job addressing it. The National Football League has brushed domestic violence under the rug for a number of years, but with social media around every corner, domestic violence has become a problem that the NFL needs to deal with.
Commissioner Roger Goodell was under fire a few weeks back for giving Ray Rice a two game suspension for allegedly hitting his then-fiance Janay Palmer. But it wasn't until after the actual elevator footage was released to the public via TMZ that Goodell cracked down on Rice and suspended him indefinitely. Why is it that footage of that horrible incident had to go public in order for the NFL to give a harsher punishment for something that shouldn't be happening in the first place?
Since then other incidents have taken place as well involving league starts such as the Vikings Adrian Peterson and Arizona Cardinals Running Back Jonathan Dwyer, both involved in domestic violence issues. While the NFL can claim their domestic violence policy prevented any harsher action against Rice, it's no excuse. Roger Goodell has been in office as Commissioner since 2006, more than enough time to review important league policies and update them as needed.
New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has made it a point to take a strong look at his own league's domestic violence policy ever since the Ray Rice video went viral. Silver, who has been in office less than a year has done more for his league in regards to cleaning up major messes than it seems Goodell has for his own league.
So what message is Roger Goodell and the NFL actually sending? They are telling young boys that "hey, it's okay to beat up people if you're an athlete and have a lot of money, because you're special." It teaches young girls that it's okay to let a boy physically and mentally abuse you if he's rich or famous, because that is just how it goes.
Roger Goodell will try to restore his own integrity in the coming months, but the damage has certainly been done and he cannot continue being CEO of the most prosperous business in this country with the way things have turned out. Domestic Violence seemed like an afterthought to the NFL, when it should be one of the most important issues to talk about to both rookies and veterans alike. Roger Goodell and the NFL, Domestic Violence isn't okay, it never has been and it never will be.