Football, by far, is America’s favorite sport and if you have any doubts, take a look at the new deal that the National Football League made with DirecTV for its NFL Sunday Ticket Package. The deal is worth $1.5 billion annually over the next eight seasons. Hooray, more football right?
Besides the fact that Direct TV is going out of its way to broadcast more football, even though it is losing money is one thing, but it also made this deal with a league that includes players who beat women. That is right, this is not going away.
Case in point, Commissioner Roger Goodell has preached that the League needs to “get it right,” more times than Pharrell Williams sings “happy,” in his hit song. Then how can Goodell suspend Ray Rice indefinitely after getting it wrong the first time while 49ers’ defensive lineman Ray McDonald is still active on the San Francisco roster after being arrested and charged with domestic violence back on August 31st?
Domestic violence is the big issue that is facing the NFL, but another problem is still prominent, not only in the professional ranks but college football as well. No, I will not talk about the incidents that have surrounded Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, that have still gone unpunished in my eyes, though I am hungry for some crab legs all of sudden.
Concussions in football are still a massive problem for the sport. In Ann Arbor, Mich. University of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris was rolling out to left on Sept. 27 and as he threw a pass he was lit up by a Minnesota Gophers defensive player. When he got back up, looking to the sideline for the next play, he fell on the shoulder of one of his offensive lineman. This came after he had already hurt his ankle a few plays before. How did Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke not see this and think to take Morris out? No coaches or doctors saw this either apparently. Teammates were telling the sideline to take him out, but nothing was done.
Hoke left him in and many have said that the doctors needed to tell Hoke because he was focused on getting a first down. If that is the case, then he was not focused on the most important player on the field who could barely stand up, let alone run a play.
The NFL and NCAA have put in concussion protocol and testing that players must pass before they return to action, but they need to get the players to that process for it to be effective.
Here is the wild part about all of this. Fans do not care about the safety of the women that are physically attacked by college and professional players or the players who get concussions. If they did, fans would stop watching. They would stop complaining about their fantasy football leagues and start protesting the games. Direct TV is so on board with it, that they are willing to lose money and pay over a billion dollars to make sure they can bring these games to the viewing public.
At some point, we have to face the reality that what we are supporting is morally wrong. We are obligated to stand up for what is right and what is safe for the people involved not for some game. That is what you are watching in the end. It is bigger than a game. This is life and death. These two viewpoints eventually will collide and big decisions will have to be made. Until then, enjoy the games, but understand what you are supporting.