The NFL’s PR Nightmare

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The NFL has experienced four high profile domestic violence cases in the span of a year, child abuse, substance abuse, and performance enhancing drugs. Now there are many fans suspecting negligence by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Instead of the focus being on football and the start of a new season, the video of Ray and Janay Rice’s altercation has been the topic of discussion. The NFL first came under fire for only suspending Rice for two games. Rice has received the most attention, but isn’t the only player accused of abuse.

  • Pro bowl defensive end Greg Hardy was convicted of domestic violence, and death threats against his former girlfriend.
  • Jonathan Dwyer of the Cardinals has been accused of violence against his wife and son.
  • Forty-Niner Ray McDonald defensive end is also facing domestic violence allegations.
  • All-pro running back Adrian Peterson has been exempt from his team for child abuse.

Soon after the string of cases, a new domestic violence policy was created. Goodell announced that first time domestic violence offenders will receive a six game suspension, and second time offenders will receive a lifetime ban. In addition to the rule change, the NFL has created a team of four women to combat domestic violence.

Some of these cases happened earlier in the year, bringing to question why they weren’t disciplined until the public reacted. Several of the league’s sponsors have threatened to pull out if players aren’t disciplined properly. Besides McDonald all of the aforementioned players have been exempt from the team, but are still being paid.

This calendar year has been a black eye for the league’s image with thirty-one suspensions, and several other cases pending according to SBNation. Roger Goodell once revered by players and fans, is now dealing with a public relations nightmare.

The current controversy surrounding the league has many calling for his job. National Organization of Women president Terry O’Neil called for Goodell’s job in an interview with ESPN.

 “The only workable solution is for Roger Goodell to resign and for his successor to appoint an independent investigator with full authority to gather factual data about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking within the NFL community and to recommend real and lasting reforms.”          -Terry O’Neil

As new information continues to emerge, Roger Goodell’s future will be something to keep an eye on. It’s unlikely the NFL will see a significant dent in its profits, but one has to wonder about the public’s perception going forward.

 


Robert Griffin III suffers potentially season-ending injury

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Just about everything went right for the Redskins on Sunday besides one devastating loss to their starting lineup.

ESPN confirms that Robert Griffin III has a dislocated left ankle, an injury that will sideline the Washington Redskins star quarterback indefinitely.

Griffin suffered the injury while running to his right toward the sideline in the first quarter. Even though he was not touched on the play, Griffin fell and landed awkwardly out of bounds and was carted to the locker room. To know the full extent of the injury, Griffin will need an MRI exam which will be taken Monday morning. Another question facing many Redskins fans is Griffin’s recovery time. He is believed to be facing a minimum six to eight week recovery.

It wasn’t all bad for the Redskins as they comfortably beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-10. The win snapped a nine-game losing streak dating from last season. It was the team’s first victory since a 30-24 overtime win against the San Diego Chargers in Week 9 of 2013.

Former Athlete Creates Sensor, Prevents Brain Injuries

Photo Credit: www.kickstarter.com

A former collegiate athlete has created a new form of preventative healthcare.

According to Fox News, founder and CEO of Jolt Sensor, Benjamin Harvatine has created the small sensor to assist in the prevention of concussions and other forms of brain injuries.

Harvatine wrestled for Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he sustained a number of concussions.

Harvatine explained that although he was hit in the head, he continued to practice even though he was experience dizziness, resulting in a longer recovery. The sensor, aims at detecting these injuries sooner, and preventing these long recoveries.

The clip-on sensor can be attached to a helmet, glasses, headband or other protective headgear. The goal is for the small device to track head impacts both based on level of impact as well as repetition.  When a potentially damaging situation occurs, the sensor will vibrate on the athlete’s head while also sending a notification to the cell phone of a parent or coach.

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Baylor Honors Robert Griffin III

 

Photo Credits: Washington Post

Baylor University unveiled a bronze statue of current Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3 had a brilliant career with the Baylor Bears winning the Heisman trophy in 2011, ahead fellow standout Andrew Luck. Luck and Griffin were drafted first and second respectively in the 2012 draft.

Griffin broke records and brought a lot of attention to the program. The statue will be placed outside of Baylor’s brand new McLane Stadium. For 65 years the Bears played games 4 miles away, from their Waco campus at Floyd-Casey Stadium. The new stadium became a reality after an increase in donations.

The unveiling is good news for Griffin, who has faced a lot of scrutiny in the aftermath of his rookie season. Griffin has battled injuries and turmoil with coaches Mike and Kyle Shannahan. Despite the praise Griffin was quick to deflect the attention praising his college coaches and teammates in an interview with the Washington Times.

“No, it wasn’t just me. If you look at the guys who came in with me, the guys who were there before we got here. They are all part of it, from Grant Teaff to coach (Art) Briles,” Griffin said, mentioning his former teammates. “They know we couldn’t have done it without each other.”

Prior to the Bears blowout win fans chanted “RG3” for three hours. The Bears hope to continue building their football program, with the hope of sending more players to the NFL. As for Griffin, he’ll look to rebound from a disappointing season week one against the Houston Texans.

St. Louis Rams cut Michael Sam

Photo Credit: USA Today

The first openly gay player drafted in the NFL has been dropped by the St. Louis Rams.

ESPN writes:

“Sam’s efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

“Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

“Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. From there, the other 31 teams will have 24 hours to put in a claim for Sam.

“According to one league source, the Rams would like to bring Sam back to their 10-man practice squad.”

Sam, who played defensive end for Missouri in college, was selected 249th out of 256 in the May draft after coming out earlier in the year about his homosexuality.

Another NFL team could possibly sign Sam to its roster, or the defensive end could wind up back with the Rams, on their practice squad.

Sam has remained positive about the release and even took to Twitter to thank the Rams and the city of St. Louis. He also writes, “I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career.”

 

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