Brought to you by Roger Goodie Goodell . . .
The National Football League is in the news a lot lately, unfortunately for Roger Dodger, it ain’t all good. First off we have the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin he said/he said imbroglio around Incognito’s harassment and subsequent twitter frenzy, the arrest of NFL Network stalwart (and, creepily, the self-proclaimed pick magnet) Darren Sharper, who was charged with drugging and raping 2 women in LA, with pending charges in 3 other states, and throw in Ray Rice beating his fiancee unconscious, and there you go. Life in the NFL fist lane.
The Incognito deal just won’t go away for poor ol’ Jolly Roger (he of the $44.2 million in earnings last year. It’s good to be da king). The Wells report details a pattern of homophobic, racial, and general assholery harassment of certain teammates and an Asian trainer by some of the Dolphin players. If you are really bored/interested/insomniacial, here’s the report in its entirety:
Makes you wonder how ready the typical NFL locker room is for an openly gay player. As in Mike Sam, All-SEC defensive player of the year. I’d love to think that our country has moved on from our puritan ways in regards to sexuality and how adults conduct themselves in their their own bedrooms, and certainly more and more states are allowing gay marriage, but the NFL is at best a very private club among people who nominally give their all to meet a common goal. This isn’t war or battle or any such nonsense, but football is a violent game played by large aggressive men. The locker room is supposed to be an-off-limits place where these guys decompress after the intensity of a game. At its worst, the locker room can apparently be a place of constant and endless bullshit from the very guys you are struggling to win games with. Seems like a pretty stupid way to build a coheseive offensive line to say the least. At some point, you’d think the coaches would at least tell them to tone shit down some. It turns out they were in on the harassment, and encouraged it.
Yes, I’m sure there is a lot of stuff going on in many locker rooms that would gross out/disgust/piss off regular folks, but these aren’t regular folks. But for Richie Incognito to be seen as anything other than a shit-dusturbing troublemaker is pretty weak. Even given the support of some of his teammates. The fact that the coaches place him high up on the leadership council (or whatever it was) is even more insane. When you see how Sam’s college teammates reacted to his coming out before the 2013 season, you see that people can adjust their perspective on things when it becomes real to them.
How this works in the NFL remains to be seen. Given the off-the-cuff comments by Chris Culliver, and Jonathan Vilma’s preening statments (if I’m showering with a gay guy, how can he resist me?) I really wonder if he even gets drafted. I’d like to think it’ll happen, but the owners are a very good-old-boy network, and they don’t appear to be ready for this. NIMBY indeed. Regardless, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the Dolphins to draft him.
Anyhow, there has been no official reaction to Miami’s handling of the Incognito deal from the league office. The thought though is Goodell drops the hammer on Miami as he did on the Pats and Spygate, and the Saints on Bounty-gate. Incognito likely gets some kind of major suspension. Lifetime? Right Just like Gregg Williams.
Speaking of Williams, did anyone notice that his ‘lifetime’ suspension lasted all of 2 years? Williams quietly slipped back into the DC job he was supposed to get after he blew the Niner playoff game back in 2012. Great. Goodie Goodell is certainly very good at the old smoke-and-mirrors parlor trick. Nothing to see here. Pay attention to all the money we just got from CBS for broadcasting some Thursday night football games! Cha-ching!