Let me be clear, first off. The behavior of a small group NFL players is deplorable, and it’s been deplorable for a long time. I, in no way, support domestic abuse. Additionally, I don’t support people being publicly executed on the airwaves without adequate evidence.
I’m an avid sports talk radio listener, certainly more than I watch SportCenter etc. in any given week. Primarily I listen to John Feinstein, Dan Patrick, Jim Rome and Jay Mohr. Occasionally Doug Gottleib sneaks in. Lately I’ve had to flip back to FM for most of the day, and I don’t like it one bit. I fully understand the need to bring the behavior of these men to light, but the vitriol is uncalled for, especially on the parts of Mr. Rome and Mr. Mohr.
I’d like to address these two men directly. Please, dear sirs, espouse us your wisdom. I’d like to hear more about how your lives are perfect, how you’ve never met adversity. How you’ve never, ever, not once, made a reprehensible mistake. Since you’re without sin I’d like you to take this:
Go ahead fellas, lift it up and cast thine stone at the transgressors. Have at it! What are you waiting for?! Go on!
What are you waiting for?
Could it be you two preachers have made mistakes? I’d not be so bold as to imply either of you have ever done anything like laying your hands on a woman or a child. I would however contest that you’ve made a few mistakes, big mistakes, along your path that you’d like back, as we all have. I don’t think anyone jumped to the full conclusion against all these recent transgressors, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and Jonathan Dwyer. Again, I’m not defending them, what I’m here to defend is due process, forgiveness, and education.
Many NFL players first cite their difficult upbringings and broken homes as where they got their work ethic and drive. However, that’s not all that comes from that scenario. Many of these men may not have been taught at any point how to be a man, let alone how to be a father. You two are both fathers, and good ones. Who do you attribute that to? Watching the Brady Bunch? This isn’t simply an NFL problem, it’s a societal problem, and by executing these men in the court of public opinion, “you’re not helping them Rome, you’re hurting them.” When you do what you’ve done, which is destroy these men in your platform, you’re stifling the problem. More people will be afraid to speak up about their problems, including wives and children.
Help and education are the only way to fix this problem. Destroying their lives only makes the problem worse, destruction begets destruction. Allow the punishment to be doled, by law enforcement, and the morality police, er, NFL, and allow these men to be advocates against domestic violence. Perhaps education on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption? On never laying your hands on your family? In the case of Adrian Peterson, “the way I was raised” defense is very real and valid. Sure it does not make it OK to do, but he doesn’t know any other way. Did you know that more african american families employ capital punishment than any other group, especially the use of foreign objects? Did you know that for centuries these people were punished by whipping? Didn’t think of that, did you.
I implore you to gather facts and allow the story to play out before you make your judgements, gentlemen. Even in the course of your shows today it came out that Dwyer committed his crime, and then at the end he’s getting a mental evaluation. That certainly changed your tune, didn’t it Jay? Suddenly, he’s a victim too. How many times before that (since I admittedly didn’t listen to the show) did you lambaste him, and allow your callers to throw him under the bus? I implore you, stick to your jobs. Discuss sports, not societal politics.