NFL, Domestic Violence, and an Inherently Violent Sport

My mom accused me of being a “liberal” over the phone last night.  She often does that, and it is hard to tell if it is an insult or not.  It probably is.  The issue this time arose when I mentioned that it is hard to watch American Football because it is too violent.

She cut me off there, basically arguing that the liberal media had brainwashed me and that it is ridiculous for America to shun and punish players in the National Football League for beating their wives or girlfriends.  I suppose my mom wishes to imply that NFL players have the right to beat or punish or do whatever they want to do to their lovers behind closed doors.  It is therefore fair to infer that my mom would have zero qualms about watching an inherently violent sport.  At least there is no hypocrisy there.

By contrast, the NFL leadership is dripping with hypocrisy.  I have no doubt whatsoever that the League has long been aware of domestic abuse for decades, and that the League has done little about it because, well, why should it?  It is a police matter.  Now that domestic abuse is in the spotlight, however, the constant stream of domestic abuse cases is tarnishing the NFL’s image.

Presto.  All of a sudden the NFL cares. Specifically, the NFL cares about its image and will now punish players for what they choose to do at home behind closed doors. Apparently the NFL condones violence only on the field.  Go figure.

Back to the phone conversation.  After my mom’s NFL/you are a liberal rant, I then proceeded to explain where I was going with my original sentence before she cut me off: that the NFL is simply too violent on the field.  There is an injury timeout at least once per game.  Players tear ACLs, get concussed, and break bones with sickening regularity.  Players live from injury to injury and die at a far younger age than the rest of the US population.  At least they get paid millions, but that should spark an inherently different conversation about what society values (or rather, should value instead).

In recent years I have been watching tennis.  I have yet to see a player tear his/her ACL while on the court, get concussed, or tear an achilles.  It is refreshing.  And tennis is a beautiful game to behold.

In conclusion, I should issue a full disclaimer: I am a hypocrite.  I like watching the NFL.  I watch games every Sunday.  I am, however, liking the NFL a lot less than before, and I hope that trend continues.

As for the phone conversation, I changed topics, proceeded to talk about the weather, and then wished her a good night.

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