Yesterday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stood before a room full of reporters and crapped all over women, children, and victims of domestic violence. I’m sure he didn’t think he was, but that was the upshot of his remarks. [Note: I was going to link to a transcript of his remarks, but the link I had was a stream of consciousness thing with no clear distinctions about who was saying what. I'm sure a more useful one will emerge if, like me, you don't want to watch the video.]
When asked to explain how the reports that his office had the second video with his comments that it hadn’t, Goodell’s replay was, in essence, “We hired Robert Mueller, who is very well respected, to find out the answer to that.” That’s not an answer.
dan graziano, espn. yes, dan. the a.P. Report about the video being sent to your office cites a voicemail and someone confirmed receipt of it. With that in mind, how do you explain that amid the league’s denial they had the video? dan, that is exactly why as i mentioned in my statement, we hired robert mueller, the longest serving director of the fbi to make sure that individual, robert mueller and his staff, they go through and find out as many facts as they possibly can. And report. It is independent. All that information will be something that director mueller will be dealing with.
See what I mean? Let me try to make that look more readable.
Dan Graziano: Dan Graziano, ESPN.
Roger Goodell: Yes, Dan.
DG: The A.P. Report about the video being sent to your office cites a voicemail and someone confirmed receipt of it. With that in mind, how do you explain that amid the league’s denial they had the video?
RG: Dan, that is exactly why, as I mentioned in my statement, we hired Robert Mueller, the longest serving director of the FBI to make sure that individual, Robert Mueller and his staff, they go through and find out as many facts as they possibly can. And report. It is independent. All that information will be something that Director Mueller will be dealing with.
So you asked to see the video, so they sent it to you, and you never watched it because you claim you never knew you had it? The Baltimore Ravens knew about it, according to the New York Daily News. And when they sat down with you, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Rice, and some lawyers, they assumed that you had seen the second video, which shows the actual beating Rice gave his then-fiancee. (The first video, for those not familiar with all the details, showed Rice dragging Miss Palmer’s unconscious body out of the elevator. The second, released after Goodell announced the two-game suspension – the crime happened in April – showed what happened inside the elevator.) But you claim you hadn’t, and went ahead with their recommendation of a two-game suspension. There were calls for your head then, Goodell, and the calls only got louder when the second video was made public, and people realized an NFL player could get in worse trouble for smoking weed than for beating up a woman.
Then we learned that Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson beat his four-year-old son with a switch, leaving wounds severe enough to have the star running back indicted for negligent or reckless injury of a child. An order of protection has been sought against Peterson. Peterson says (and friends confirm) that he was beaten in a similar manner when he was growing up, and he believed it worked. He has said he is seeking professional help to learn how wrong that was to believe. Too bad Sean Hannity never sought professional help after he was beaten by his father, in part because he says he deserved it. He was incredulous that his panel said they thought Hannity’s father should have been arrested by today’s standards saying, “I was not mentally bruised because my father hit me with a belt.” Actually, Sean, there’s a lot of people, not just Liberals, but professional types, who would strongly disagree with that statement. Unless you’re just saying that your mental bruising (which clearly happened at some point, and likely explains much of your conservatism) was not due solely to the beatings you got from your father.
If there is any good that can come from all these stories, it’s in raising the awareness that we need to talk more about domestic violence, and about violence against women everywhere around the world. We need to educate people that just because something has been going on for years doesn’t mean it should be accepted by society, or that it ever should have been. Do you remember when Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN) rose on the floor of the House and told his own personal stories of the abuse he and his family suffered at the hands of their father, sometimes publicly? He told those stories to encourage his colleagues to support the creation of a National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that was more than twenty years ago? What have we learned since? Other than that it still happens? Adrian Peterson was eight years old when Dan Burton told the world about how his father would beat him for having to use the bathroom at night, then beat him for not being able to with his father standing over him. Did Peterson’s father hear about the media coverage of the shocking stories of Life in rural Indiana? Would it have stopped him from raising a son who would do the same thing to his own children, and to others people’s, if he did hear it? We may never know. What we do know is that Peterson has a problem with raising children, and someone’s going to have to tell him how to do it. And we also know Sean Hannity grew up to be a bully.
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