Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Monday Night Football Special: Players vs. Women & Children
I play Fantasy Football. That means I watch the football culture. I would like to get my daughters into football or fantasy football because it would be a fun bonding experience. However, I'm having trouble justifying that when the front page of ESPN is filled with who's going to prison, who failed a drug test, and who's getting suspended. How can I allow my daughters to watch the NFL when it is so cruel to women and children (of which they are both).
Especially given the latest news on Minnesota's greatest American hero - Adrian Peterson. My eldest has a Peterson jersey (it's adorable), but still hasn't grasped that he's done with football. Forever. I wasn't going to tell her the reason, just that he got he got in some legal trouble. But my wife had better confidence in their ability to understand how people they admire do bad things. How can I allow my children to wear the jersey of a child-beater? That's like giving my wife a Drew Peterson shirt. And then all these other things come up -- he's got multiple illegitimate kids, failing a drug test, his charity foundation not getting the money promised (although that could be a separate issue).
It's not like this controversy is going to end anytime soon. They're going to see a future Mark Chmura sexually assaulting his babysitter, future Michael Vick holding dog fights, future Brett Favre's cell phone penis pics, and future Sean Peyton staking bounties on players. There are more Lake Minnetonka party boats and O.J. Simpsons in the cards, mark my words.
And it's not just the players. I would find this acceptable if they were being punished and removed. But then Adrian Peterson is on the field a few days later. A press conference takes place that answers zero questions and gives zero information. It was left to paparazzi to expose Ray Rice's transgression to the world. (Sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reason, I guess.) These people don't become homeless after they're done. Their fame gives them opportunities, even if they have to move to Canada or Europe. The NFL has the wrong mentality. They need to remove these players not to punish them, but to preserve the integrity of the league. Because I can't, in good conscience, allow my daughters to give their devotion to a felon.
And what happens to the children who learn that if they are good at sports, they can get away with crimes and suffer no consequences for it. I'm not sure missing games or fines is even a good deterrent, but it seems to be the only way to punish them. When I was a kid, my dad would punish me by taking something away. But the scale of wealth and fame these people have is so huge, how could it make a corrective impact? If someone told me "you're not allowed to work here anymore", I could live on what I've saved up for a while. And when that runs out, there are a bunch of places that would still take me for my skills. And if not, just make my own money. And I'm just a normal guy.
You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.