Carl W. Kenney II is an award winning columnist and novelist. He is committed to engaging readers into a meaningful discussion related to matters that impact faith and society. He grapples with pondering the impact faith has on public space while seeking to understand how public space both hinders and enhances the walk of faith.
Monday, July 28, 2014
NFL position on domestic violence is guilty beyond reasonable doubt
Smith, commentator on ESPN’s First Take, launched a huge controversy when he
asserted women should learn “the elements of provocation” to prevent men from
responding with violence.
“elements of provocation”, sparked massive resistance from women who have
endured men putting hands on them in inappropriate ways.It was one of those, “no he didn’t say that”
moments that had women from coast to coast standing tall with one hand on a hip
and the other wagging a finger to denote rage.
Men like me
took a few deep gulps in solidarity.As
much as we appreciated the effort, we knew better than to blame sisters for
provoking domestic violence.You can’t
say that.It’s out of bonds, and Smith
made good by starting today’s show with a heartfelt apology.
I get the
mistake. I certainly get the apology.Stuff had to be checked, and Smith was taken to the woodshed for his
lapse in judgment.He fessed up. All is
Nope.Stuff still needs to be said.
Lost in the
hoopla related to Smith’s faux pas is what brought us together to yell at
Smith.Stephen A., Cari Champion and
Rick Bayless were discussing the NFL’s treatment of Ray Rice.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice
two games for knocking his fiancé unconscious.Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was caught on a hotel
surveillance camera dragging Janay Palmer out of an elevator after punching her
in the face.
swift and severe punishment.Considering
Goodell’s punishment for helmet –to-helmet contact is normally one game, and
the average suspension for violating the league substance abuse policy is 4
games, it was feasible to expect stiff punishment for knocking your girlfriend
out in an elevator and dragging her like a piece of meat.
Are we to
assume a league policy that regards violence on the football field worse than
cruelty toward a woman?Are we being
told that smoking marijuana is worse than knocking a woman unconscious? Is the
NFL taking domestic lightly, and if so, what is the proper response to the NFL’s
Vice President of labor policy Adolpho Birch defended the league’s two-game
suspension of Rice.
I think if you are any player and you think that based on this decision that
it's OK to go out and commit that kind of conduct, I think that is something
that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do
that," Birch said Monday morning on ESPN Radio's "Mike and
Mike,". "So in terms of sending a message about what the league
stands for, we've done that. We can talk about the degree of discipline; we can
talk about whether or not third parties need to be involved. I would suggest to
you that a third party has been involved in this matter and that was the court
that reviewed it, the prosecutor that reviewed it.
it is a question about what the principle of the league is and what standards
we stand by, that cannot be questioned. I think it is absolutely clear to all
involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will
not tolerate it in our league. I don't know how you can reach a conclusion
other than that although I certainly respect the opinion."
to boo Birch off the stage for that lame explanation regarding the NFL’s
suspension.Birch claims the NFL doesn’t
condone domestic violence, but all evidence suggests the opposite.
defensive end Greg Hardy, who plays for the Carolina Panthers, was recently
convicted on two domestic violence charges for assaulting a female and
communicating threats.He was sentenced
to a 60-day suspended jail sentence and 18 months’ probation for attacking his
appealed the decision, and the matter will not be resolved until the end of the
coming season.The NFL has decided not
to make a ruling related to suspension until the case is finalized, and the
Carolina Panthers have decided to wait on the league to decide on suspension
before extending punishment.
decision by the league and the Carolina Panthers allows Hardy to claim all of
his $13.1 million salary this coming season.
that the NFL takes domestic violence seriously is muted by the absence of a
decision to suspend Hardy.All bets are
off.The NFL is serious about
helmet-to-helmet contact and smoking marijuana.Goodell is quick to strike the whip whenever the game is compromised by
one of his players.He enforces his
version of the law with reckless disregard. Goodell takes no prisoners.
change when it comes to domestic violence.Goodell and his staff depend on the courts to decide prior to pronouncing
punishment.The long wait leaves fans of
the game wondering if they care about violence against woman.
So, yes, we
needed to place a sock down Stephan A Smith’s throat for his upsetting
statement regarding provocation.We
shouldn’t let him off the hook, but, while we have him caught in the web of his
own creation, let’s not forget what brought us here.
here today because of Ray Rice. Exhibit B is Greg Hardy.
is the NFL, and the league is guilty of not giving a damn about domestic