By Ken Reed
Some real character All-Americans (wink, wink) were drafted by NFL teams this past weekend.
Numerous players, with a variety of off-field legal problems, were drafted. But, for now, let’s just focus on the area of domestic violence, an issue that NFL public relations execs say is VERY concerning to the league.
The Cincinnati Bengals took running back Joe Mixon, who was caught on tape punching a woman in the face. The Cleveland Browns selected defensive lineman Caleb Brantley, even though he’s been charged with punching a woman in the face. Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars, took wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who was arrested for throwing the mother of his two children to the ground and biting her. The Oakland Raiders didn’t want to be left out on the “low character” front, so they drafted defensive back Gareon Conley, despite the fact he’s currently being investigated for rape.
Yes, the NFL says it’s very concerned about domestic violence. Nevertheless, as your mom told you, actions speak louder than words.
“NFL and team execs can say whatever they want but the real gauge of the league’s view is how its teams spend their precious draft capital,” wrote Mike Vorkunov, curator for SportsREDEF. “When GMs try to explain their picks, they only make it worse.”
What NFL GMs are really trying to say when they uncomfortably try to justify picks like these is if a guy can play, we’ll take him, no matter what issues he might have.
Meanwhile, NFL GMs won’t touch former Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had the gall to kneel for the national anthem in the name of social justice.
In addition, Commissioner Clueless, Roger Goodell, continues to come down hard on the use of medical marijuana by his players for pain treatment. Apparently, he views marijuana as a bigger social concern than domestic violence.
The NFL is a mess on many fronts (for one, see the league’s history with brain trauma, concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy), but its actions when it comes to domestic violence might be the most despicable.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.