Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and the NFL Dilemma

Ray Rice was video taped punching his then girlfriend (Now his wife) in an Atlantic CIty elevator and then pulling her unconscious body from the elevator. Adrian Peterson punished his four year old son by hitting him with a switch. The league and Peterson’s team have reacted and both players are now inactive indefinitely. The media outrage is enormous and it is suggested that NFL Commissioner Goodell be fired.
There is no way the actions can be defended. Both are horrible. However, there was a delay in the media outburst that suggests that there is another agenda here. As this is an election year, I surmise that the media response here is political and financial. There have been several cases of domestic abuse in the NFL in recent years and none of those engendered the vigorous reaction by the mainstream medis so far. The effort is directed at generating support for the so called war on women (that doesn’t exist, by the way) to increase voter turnout among Democrats. The NFL target, very male, violent, aggressive is the perfect foil for this activity. Goodell, its leader, tall, large, rich and blond is a compelling target as well. So what are the aims of those who attack the NFL over this issue? (By the way, Goodell had already instituted a domestic violence program to stop such violence.)
The aim here is the classic shakedown. The. demands on the NFL will mount as various organizations demand money, probably in the billions of dollars, before going away. They may also demand positions within the NFL for their members, and then, urge that Goodell be replaced by one of theirs, to assure compliance with their demands.
The NFL’s dilemma is that it must stand up to the demands while taking actions to re-assure fans that domestic violence will not be condoned in any way. If the league gives in, especially with regard to the Commissioner, it will mean that the owners have given up control of the business. If the league acquiesces in this matter, the demands will only increase and spin away from Rice and Peterson into unrelated areas that will involve the surrender of more of its authority and ability to manage it own affairs. That is an existential moment that must be prevented. The sharks are circling here, and they must be kept out of the NFL boat.

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