All Articles Tagged "nfl"

Black Women’s Roundtable Offers Recommendations To NFL On Domestic Violence Issues

November 20th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Ray Rice publicly apologizes to his wife, Janay Palmer, for Valentine's Day assault.

Source: AP

Last Friday, representatives from the Black Women’s Roundtable met for a second time with Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, spending two hours discussing recommendations to both handle existing domestic violence issues and, hopefully, eradicate the problem entirely.

“The key that we honed in on was prevention and intervention strategies,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable.

Campell couldn’t discuss the details of the recommendations because she wanted to give the NFL a chance to consider the options and decide on next steps. However, among the suggestions were a number of organizations that are led by women of color that can serve as resources in cities across the country that have NFL teams, according to a press release about the meeting.

What Campbell did discuss was the need for diversity on the panel that is making decisions about how to proceed on this issue. A single women of color has been appointed to the panel the NFL created to address these issues, but, as Campbell says, “We feel they can do more. Hence the recommendations.”

To be sure, domestic violence is an issue that’s larger than the NFL.

“Cultural change needs to happen,” Campbell continued. “Domestic violence is a problem in this country. There’s an opportunity to hone in on that. To be able t work and engage with [the NFL] is the best we can do.” And, perhaps, the NFL can serve as a model for how the country can move forward.

In terms of diversity, the Black Women’s Roundtable sees its role as one of bringing cultural nuance to the table. One example Campbell used was where Black women turn for help. Traditionally, it’s not a hotline, but rather a church or family member. So any strategies moving forward should take that into account.

But whether the league ultimately does what needs to be done is up to them.

“The devil will be in the details when it comes to their policy changes,” Campbell told MN. “It’s up to us to make sure this isn’t lip service.”

There’s no deadline for feedback on the recommendations, but Campbell says communication continues.

“Surely this is something that won’t get fixed overnight. But it’s important to stick with it. We’re talking about people’s lives,” she said.

Could Constant Head Injuries Be The Reason Why So Many NFL Players Are In Trouble For Domestic Violence?

September 24th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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If you’ve been watching the news lately, I’m sure you’re probably wondering, what’s going on with so many NFL players that they are being accused of domestic violence one right after the other? And while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league are working to find the right ways to punish these players for their actions, the folks at “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (great show by the way) are wondering if there is something behind these assaults that the NFL hasn’t yet looked into.

In the preview for an upcoming episode of the show, correspondent Jon Frankel talks with not only doctors, but the wife of late San Diego Chargers safety, Paul Oliver. The NFL player, 29, committed suicide on this very day last year, shooting himself in front of his wife and two sons in his home. His widow, Chelsea Young, says that before he took his own life, Oliver gradually became more violent with her. She says that she had known him since college and he was never abusive before, but when he started to be, she says that he told her “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

In the piece, Young sends Oliver’s brains to Boston University to have them examined and it’s discovered that he had advanced CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). And while it’s not yet been proven that repeated concussions can cause CTE, the condition can be caused by exposure to a major blast or blow and the subsequent movement of the head afterwards. Symptoms of CTE, including depression, aggression and memory loss, can appear years or even decades after the injury.

It’s an interesting question to ask, whether or not the injuries NFL players sustain play a part in them acting out in such violent ways, and it looks like one Frankel will seek an answer to in his segment, which airs in full on October 21 on HBO. Check out the preview below and share your thoughts.

Ray Rice Appeal Will Scrutinize Edited, “Cleaned-Up, Whittled Down And Condensed” TMZ Video

September 22nd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Disturbing footage of Ray Rice knocking out fiancee in hotel elevator leaked.

Sources: Corbis Images, TMZ

According to ESPN, Ray Rice’s legal team hopes to go after his indefinite suspension by pointing out that the NFL extended his suspension based on an edited videotape.

NFL Insider and analyst Adam Schefter said he was informed by legal sources close to Rice’s appeal that his team will scrutinize the videotape that made national, if not international news (I got wind of the whole story while in Greece) because it was an edited, “cleaned-up, whittled down and condensed version” of the actual events in that elevator in Atlantic City back in February.

Former director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, was brought on by the NFL to investigate how the league as a whole and the Baltimore Ravens handled Rice’s case, as well as who saw the elevator video and when they originally saw it. TMZ has since responded to the news that their video will be criticized as part of his appeal:

Ray Rice will reportedly argue that TMZ Sports edited the “inside the elevator” video … thereby altering what really happened that night.

He’s right. We did edit the video … and we made that point crystal clear in our original post — the same post where we also INCLUDED the raw unedited version showing Rice KOing Janay Palmer.

As we initially reported, the original raw video was jerky — in that it would move forward  and then in reverse every couple of frames … so we removed the reverse frames. 

Again, TMZ Sports included the raw video in our original post.

It seems that Rice and his team are going to great lengths to get his indefinite suspension overturned, including citing double jeopardy in the league’s decision to harshly punish him after they had already suspended him for two games, and after Rice claimed (and sources back up) that he told the Ravens up-front that he punched then-fiancée Janay Palmer. Through the unedited version, Rice hopes to show that his story lined up exactly with what he told the Ravens so that the league will be held accountable for trying to flip-flop on suspensions.

But at the end of the day, indefinite suspension taken off or not, it doesn’t change the fact that he knocked his then-fiancée out cold and treated her body like that of a rag doll…

NFL Partners With Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault Groups; Goodell Gives Awful Press Conference

September 19th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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The NFL, in its continuing efforts to quell the outrage over its treatment of violent offenses among members of its league, has announced that it has partnered with two organizations — the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

In the past week, according to Roger Goodell, the NFL’s commissioner, the domestic violence hotline has received 80 percent more calls, but it doesn’t have the resources to handle all of those calls. In a memo that was sent to the league’s 32 teams, the NFL’s support will provide for 25 full-time advocates in the next five weeks, giving it the ability to take 750 more calls.

In addition, the memo, which the Los Angeles Times got its hands on, says the teams will participate in education sessions and training programs over the next month. And the league is going to beef up its current programs.

Goodell then held a press conference this afternoon at 3pm ET in which he repeated a good chunk of this information. He added that there are experts that will look at player and employee conduct policies “including his role in the process,” and the league will implement new policies. The goal is to have the committee in place by the Super Bowl. Which seems like a really long time to hire people to sit around and talk about an issue that is happening now and requires some urgency, but OK.

Then it was time for Goodell to take questions from the reporters in the room and that’s when the presser devolved into a rambling, mumbling mess. When asked whether he ever considered stepping down from his job, Goodell said he “never considered resigning,” then said something about all the work he has to to do and all the changes they’re going to make.

When asked why there are no women of color among the domestic violence experts that have been brought on board to consult with the league, he said that wasn’t true, then went on about people of color being on staff and working on the changes.

He repeatedly deflected questions about the independent investigation that’s being conducted about the way the recent incidents were handled.

Then TMZ lowered the boom and asked why Goodell or anyone else didn’t take some initiative to get the surveillance video from the elevator. Goodell stands by the league’s efforts, saying they’re going through law enforcement.

“We found that (video) by one phone call. You guys have a whole legal department,” the TMZ reporter said. Ouch.

The fall out from the press conference is pretty huge and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better for Goodell or the league anytime soon. It was announced today (prior to the presser) that Procter & Gamble’s Crest toothpaste brand has pulled out of plans to partner with the league on its on-field breast cancer awareness promotion planned for next month. It hasn’t pulled anything else, but is watching the situation, it says. The company still plans to donate $100,000 to the American Cancer Society.

And Sen. Cory Booker says the league should have its nonprofit status snatched. Wait… the NFL is a nonprofit? The league brought in $9 billion last year. “This common sense update to our tax laws would save more than $100 million over 10 years — money that can instead be used to pay for vital support programs that have seen their funding slashed in recent years due to sequestration and gridlock,” the Senator said in a statement. A number of other politicians agree with him.

Says The Huffington Post:

According to the organization, the league falls under nonprofit status because its administrative office acts as a trade organization, handling responsibilities like overseeing game rules and employing referees — not contributing to profitable efforts by the league’s 32 teams, which pay taxes on tickets, jersey sales and television rights — ABC News reported.

Goodell’s terrible press conference shows that while he sees the league needs to do something — that people are angry and they want to see the NFL respond — he and the league are completely and totally clueless about both what to do and, in a way, why people are so mad in the first place. There’s this palpable sense that they’re being pushed to action grudgingly by fans and sponsors every step of the way. 

Ray Rice May Cite “Double Jeopardy” In Legal Charge Against NFL

September 19th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Relatives of Ray Rice and his wife Janay Rice recently revealed that the couple plans to take legal action against the NFL for his league suspension. The couple will cite “double jeopardy” for the repercussions placed upon Rice for his domestic violence assault. Earlier this spring, a video surfaced of Rice dragging his then-fiancee, Janay out of an Atlantic City casino elevator. In May, the ex-Baltimore Ravens running back pleaded guilty to third-degree aggravated assault.

Although Rice pleaded guilty, another video surfaced of him punching Janay unconscious in the elevator before dragging her out. Once the second video surfaced, the Ravens terminated him and his $35 million contract. The NFL followed suit and served Rice a lifetime suspension. The second round of much more severe punishment is what Rice could be questioning.

The Daily News reports, Rice’s appeal may spark congressional action. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says of the controversy: “If the NFL doesn’t police themselves, then we will be looking more into it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had hearings.” She also noted the NFL poorly responded to Rice assaulting his wife. Most people would likely agree with her.

Senator Gillibrand stated if NFL’s Commissioner Goodell lied to the public about not seeing the full video coverage, he should step down from his position. Gillibrand was one of the 16 female senators who sent a letter demanding there is a “zero-tolerance policy” for domestic violence occurring in the NFL players personal lives.

Black Women’s Group Calls Out The NFL For Exclusion From Group Of Domestic Violence Experts

September 18th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Ray Rice publicly apologizes to his wife, Janay Palmer, for Valentine's Day assault.

Source: AP

The NFL, in its efforts to get a handle on its response to the various abuse scandals and allegations, has created a group to seek out answers, led by Anna Isaacson, a community affairs vice president. And they’ve enlisted the help of three domestic violence experts: Lisa Friel, former head of sex-crimes prosecution for the Manhattan district attorney; and Jane Randel, co-founder of NO MORE, an advocacy group focusing on domestic violence and sexual assault; and Rita Smith, the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

But the Black Women’s Roundtable, an organization comprised of a variety of female leaders, has an issue with the exclusion of Black women from that group.

“[Y]our lack of inclusion of women of color, especially black women who are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault; and the fact that over 66% of the NFL players are made up of African-Americans, is unacceptable,” the group said in a statement.

Rev. Jesse Jackson has also taken issue with the lack of diversity among the group.

“Where is the jury of your peers?” he said.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida says that two-thirds of the league is African American.

In its response, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy agreed that there is a need for diverse thinking to address the issue, and gave assurances that the effort to better handle this issue is a collaborative one.

“To be successful and make a real difference, the entire NFL will be responsible for the development and implementation of education, training and support programs,” he continued.

It’s clear that the NFL is well behind the times on a variety of issues, and it has finally caught up with them. But on women’s issues in particular this could be a huge setback for the league and for the goals of Commissioner Roger Goodell. Five years ago, he set a goal to grow the league into a $25 billion business by 2025. To do that, it would have to court the millions of women the league says are fans. Now, The New York Times says, the league is struggling to continue a convincing pitch to women.

“I urge them to seize this moment,” said PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, a major NFL sponsor. “How they handle these cases going forward can help shape how we as a nation, as a society and as individuals treat domestic violence and child abuse.”

Nike Suspends Its Contract With Adrian Peterson Over Abuse Allegations

September 17th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Update: It looks like anxiety is turning into action.

Sponsors are getting more vocal about their anger over the NFL’s handling of all of the recent controversy. Where there are many who have gone the traditional route, saying they’re monitoring the situation (GM and FedEx were among those) there are others who are making stronger statements. They haven’t entirely pulled their dollars, but their words are stronger than many we would normally hear.

“We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league,” said Anheuser-Busch in a statement. Their deal with the NFL is worth $50 million.

McDonald’s has released a similar statement, as did Visa and Campbell’s Soup. Numbers quoted by the Associated Press show that the NFL reaches 17.4 million people during an average regular season football game, making their reach incredibly valuable for a brand.

Nike, which can claim to have a tremendous reach and influence as well, has suspended its contract with Adrian Peterson entirely.

The Vikings announced today that Peterson has been suspended indefinitely.


Original story posted September 16, 2014

Sponsors are starting to feel the heat over their financial support of the NFL in light of the domestic violence situation involving Ray Rice and child abuse charges against Adrian Peterson. Already, we have one brand, hotel chain Radisson, suspending its deal with the Minnesota Vikings after the team decided to reinstate Peterson for this weekend’s game. During the press conference announcing that he would be welcomed back on the field, the Radisson logo figured prominently on signage behind the team’s general manager and coach. By last night, Radisson, which is a part of Carlson Hotel Group, had issued a statement saying:

Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children. We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.

In addition to those charges for beating his four-year-old, Peterson was previously accused in an incident in which his child needed his head bandaged after getting a “whoopin” while strapped in a car seat. Peterson said in a statement yesterday that he never meant to harm his son. (Although, anyone with enough sense to come in out of the rain knows that’s what’s going to happen when a large football player armed with tree branches and belts hits a small child. But we digress.) Then we have the issue that CoverGirl is facing over its sponsorship of the NFL in general, given the ongoing situation with Ray Rice. The NFL has been very openly trying to reach female fans, which is no doubt where the make up company comes in. But with the league’s seeming inability to deal with domestic violence, there are some who are calling for CoverGirl to pull its sponsorship. That’s why the photo below started showing up on Twitter the other day.

CoverGirl issued a statement on its Facebook page last night saying:

As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence.

Most commenters are telling the company to put their money where their mouth is. Others are wondering whether some of the brand’s spokespeople, which includes Ellen Degeneres, Queen Latifah and Janelle Monae, will be moved to discontinue their association with the company or, at the very least, come out with a statement of some sort. At this point, the company has not pulled its dollars.

Adrian Peterson Releases Statement About Discipline And Child Abuse

September 15th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Adrian Peterson Releases Statement

I think we can all agree, the NFL has had a series of struggle weeks. Their public image has really taken a hit. Every day there seems to be another headline about a player’s issue with domestic violence, whether it be against a woman or a child.

Late last week, we learned Minnesota Viking, Adrian Peterson, was arrested and indicted for beating his four-year-old son with a switch, leaving welts and marks all along his legs, buttocks and even scrotum.

Initially, Peterson was deactivated from the Vikings game.

But today, the NFL decided that they would wait until the legal process runs its course before making a final decision. And in the meantime they’ve allowed Peterson to play. If he is eventually convicted, he’ll have to serve a minimum six game suspension.

Peterson released this statement today about his thoughts on discipline and child abuse.

“My attorney has asked me not to discuss the facts of my pending case. I hope you can respect that request and help me honor it. I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time. Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.

I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organization, the Minnesota community or to my teammates. I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son. 

I voluntarily appeared before the grand jury several weeks ago to answer any and all questions they had. Before my grand jury appearance, I was interviewed by two different police agencies without an attorney. In each of these interviews I have said the same thing, and that is that I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court. 

I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.

I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make. 

I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day. 

I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.” 

Reactions to this story were more split than the Ray Rice news. Several members of the Black community could relate to being hit and beaten with all types of objects, including switches. The issue turned into a question of when discipline crosses the line into child abuse.

I believe in discipline. But I’m of the mindset that no four-year-old needs this type beating. A spanking? Maybe. But a welt-inducing, blood flooding beating for behavior that is quite normal for four-year-olds? No. How did he not notice that his son was bleeding? Or did he think bleeding was just a part of the punishment? Even if he didn’t mean to harm his child in this way, he took it entirely too far. But perhaps my opinion is invalidated by the fact that I was spanked but never beaten. So I can’t speak to the “benefits” of being whupped.

Yesterday, ESPN analyst and Hall of Famer, Cris Carter passionately spoke about his own upbringing and how, with new information, he’s learned to make better choices when it comes to parenting his own children.

“My mom did the best job she could do raising seven kids by herself, but there are thousands of things that I have learned since then that my mom was wrong,.It’s the 21st century – my mom was wrong. She did the best she could but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me and I promised my kids I won’t teach that mess to them…Thousands of things we have learned since then.”

Carter continued, commending the Vikings, his former team for taking Peterson off the field in light of his issues with his son.

“We’re in a climate right now, I don’t care what it is, take him off the dang on field. Because you know what as a man that’s the only thing we really respect. We don’t respect no women. We don’t respect no kids. The only thing Roger and them do, take him off the field because they respect that.”

You can watch Cris Carter’s emotional speech in the video below.

What do you think of the Adrian Peterson case? Do you think he took things too far? Were you disciplined like this as a child? Do you still believe in this method?

Condoleezza In Charge? Some Want Rice To Head NFL

September 15th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Support is growing for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take over as NFL commissioner following criticism of how the league dropped the ball on former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice.

The Ravens swiftly canceled Rice’s five-year contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely on Tuesday, one day after video surfaced on showing the running back knocking out his now-wife in an Atlantic City, N.J., elevator.

Before the video was made public, Rice had been suspended by the league for two games. The current NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, later called the original punishment a mistake, writing in a letter last month to owners, “I didn’t get it right.”

The NFL said it had only seen the new video on Monday.

Now, some are saying Rice — who expressed an interest in the NFL job before — should replace Goodell. A Tuesday editorial in The Washington Post wrote that the NFL is “an institution in dire need” of Rice’s help, with a blaring headline: “Condi Rice: The one person who could save the NFL.” It says in part:

And in talking about why she coveted the gridiron gig, the foreign policy expert who served two presidents and was provost of Stanford University said, “I think it would be a very interesting job because I actually think football, with all due respect to baseball, is a kind of national pastime that brings people together across social lines, across racial lines. And I think it’s an important American institution.”

It’s an institution in dire need of her help.

In that sense, Rice could do a lot to bring together a more diverse audience for the sport — not just along racial lines, but gender lines. She’s a controversial figure for her work during the George W. Bush administration, but an African-American woman at the head of the sport would send a strong message.

Social media has also been buzzing with calls for Goodell, the son of the late Sen. Charles Goodell (R-N.Y.), to step down. And banners flying over games called for his ouster. Your thoughts?

via Black America Web

Additional contribution by Tonya Garcia

Adrian Peterson Charged With Injuring His Son

September 13th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is in hot water this morning. The NFL star has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas for child abuse! The incident surrounding the charges, involve his 4-year-old son and an old fashion switch!

Back in May 2014, Adrian Peterson allegedly beat his 4-year-old son with a switch (small twigs of a tree branch) after misbehaving. The beating left multiple bruises on his son’s back, legs, scrotum and ankles. In a text from Peterson to the child’s mother, he stated, “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting his thigh” and “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”

After returning home and visiting the doctor, the bruises and marks were noticed on the boy’s body. The doctor immediately alerted the authorities and Peterson was indicted Friday morning in Montgomery, Texas for child abuse.

In an interview with cops Peterson stated,

“I have nothing to hide, but I also understand when a child has marks like that on his leg, they have to report that.”

He also was unsure how many times he swatted his son with the switch. He did not keep count. However Peterson stated, he did feel bad for bruising the child but he would not take back his actions. He says,

“To be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent.”

However, things don’t look well for Peterson. According to his 4-year-old son, Peterson “has a whooping room” and “there are a lot of Belts in Daddy’s closet.”

As of this morning, Peterson turned himself in and was released shortly after posting bail. The Vikings also have benched him

Do you believe Peterson was simply punishing his child? Or do you believe child abuse was actually involved? Adrian previously lost his 2-year-old son to child abuse by another man.