Admittedly, I spent more time watching football today than I should have (the Vikings look a bit anemic without Adrian Peterson) and then I just read a TIME magazine cover story about "Is football worth it?" and then an NBCNEWS story about how 12 players suiting up today have at some point been arrested for domestic assault, so the National Football League (NFL) is on my mind more than usual... Hence, this blog post...
So I'm starting to sense that we are entering an era where it's going to become politically correct to be anti-football and especially anti-NFL..... I bet we will hear that even more loudly here in Minnesota, where a billion-dollar stadium is being built -- still a touchy subject locally.
I can't get into the issue of traumatic brain injuries, the topic of the TIME article, but I have some more thoughts on the domestic violence issue.
When it comes to big-name celebrities here in the U.S., we've been in a guilt-by-accusation mindset for a while now. We love to bring them down after we've built them up. Right now any wife or lover can accuse a professional ball player of abuse, and the accusation will make a headline and maybe end a career, so the NFL has to walk the tightrope of neither under-reacting or over-reacting until the truth is known. An arrest is not a conviction, and it's possible that an accusation is an act of revenge.
There are 32 NFL teams with 53 players on each, so that's 1696 suited-up individuals. 12 of those players have somewhere sometime been arrested. That's 7/10ths of 1 percent. I wonder what the domestic-violence arrest percentage is for the male population at large? And could any of the 12 been victims of extortion? All of the 1696 players are making lot of money, and money -- and the hangers-on it attracts -- are new to most of these guys. They can make really bad mistakes. The mistake the public can make is to typecast a whole profession.