Seth: NFL says Adderall is twice as bad as beating women
by Seth Dunlap,posted Jul 28 2014 7:07PM
Talk about making a bad situation worse.
The NFL created themselves a PR mess last week when issuing Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice a two game suspension for beating his fiancée in a hotel elevator. Today, they turned that mess into a disaster when spokesman Adolpho Birch tried to defend the league in an interview on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike program.
In case you missed it, the whole incident was caught on video. Additionally, the NFL said they have even more video from cameras inside the elevator that show how this woman became unconscious. They themselves say it wasn’t pretty. Numerous reports from people, who saw that tape, say Rice punched his fiancée in the face and knocked her out.
Let me repeat that so it properly sets in. People who saw the entire footage said Ray Rice, 212 pounds of solid NFL running back muscle, punched this woman in the face, knocked her out, then proceeded to drag her unconscious body out of the elevator. It was an unbelievably ugly scene, one where there’s rarely explicit video evidence like they have in this case.
If you or I had done the same thing, would we even have a job this morning?
Last week the NFL suspended Rice two games, plus an additional third game check, for his actions. Immediately there was backlash to that decision, most of it saying the punishment was too light.
Today, Birch defended the punishment by saying, “The discipline that was taken by the NFL is the only discipline that occurred, with respect to Mr. Rice, in this case." He went on to say, "I think that, were he not an NFL player, I don't know that he would be able to receive any punishment from any other source.”
What? That is the NFL’s official explanation for all of this? As Birch is an official NFL spokesman, we must take him at his word when he argued Rice’s punishment was fair and just.
Well then, let’s recap what the NFL’s belief system by looking at some of their suspension policies:
Punch your fiancée in the face and knock her out – 2 game suspension
According to the NFL’s own precedent, they’re saying taking Adderall is twice as bad as a man beating a woman. Getting a free tattoo in college is more than twice as bad and punching your fiancée in the face and knocking her out.
The optics of this is bad, really bad, for the NFL. All of the work the league has done in reaching out to women, including their annual October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, now seems more like a merchandising money grab.
The NFL was already taking a huge public relations hit after the details of Rice’s suspension was released last week. Now that they are coming out and actively defending the punishment expect it to get a lot worse.
It’s so completely nonsensical that it must be emphasized again: The NFL suspends players twice as much or more for getting free tattoos or taking ADD medication.
It’s bizarre, illogical and, I’d imagine, insulting to women.
Expect the backlash to only get worse this week. The NFL, and the sport of football, are so fully embedded in American culture that this issue will gain even more traction in the mainstream now that the league is sending out spokesmen to defend their decision.
There’s been lots of talk about how “distractions” aren’t worth it in the NFL. What would you call this?