Easy Like Sunday Morning

nfl dramaBy Stefan Anderson

The past few years have some given the National Football League has experienced its fair share of controversy including BountyGate, rule changes, concussion settlements, have all put a damper on one of America’s favorite sports.

This past week has been no different, as the soap opera continues to overshadow the league. Everything that has occurred of the week should result in necessary change for the NFL.

Fans and players of the NFL have witnessed more storylines then we have seen games played. In only the 2nd week of the season, Ray Rice was on the brink of serving his final week of suspension stemming from a domestic violence incident between him and his wife earlier in the year.

A video of the incident by TMZ, a “credible” news source, and given to was given to various media outlets worldwide and making the situation even worse. The Baltimore Ravens then cut Ray Rice was suspended by the NFL indefinitely.

The league’s Commissioner Roger Goodell had “no idea” that had the actions were that brutal and only seen the video once TMZ released.  This makes absolutely no sense to most including myself when weeks previously Goodell and the NFL brass implemented a new policy on domestic abuse which gives a six-game suspension without pay for the first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense.

The NFL is now being investigated for its poor handling of the situation and can result in appeal for Rice or some serious actions the hierarchy of National Football League.

That was only the beginning of the week, on Friday; Adrian Peterson was indicted on charges of endangerment of child welfare after he reportedly struck his son with a switch leaving many lacerations. Peterson is who is currently inactive, is facing charges and could possibly face jail time based on the action in court.

Regardless of the fact the players have many irresponble actions, their choice indulge in what they choose, is simply their decision. Not justifying any of their situations as a human being, but the scrutiny that these athletes have faced recently is simply outrageous. I understand that get paid millions of dollars and should have sound judgment on most situations but at the end of the day they are football players.

I do not believe it’s solely on the players why these actions are happening, I believe it comes from Roger Goodell and his staff for not having control of the league.  The actions of the NFL’s head honcho has created a league in which more concern has been what happens outside of the field then what happens on the field.

The league that grosses nearly 9 billion a year has put its focus on the wrong things and have taken away from the integrity of the game. Ultimately it should lead to a new commissioner and new leadership to give the league a better outlook and fresh perspective.

We have now seen great athletes like Wes Walker, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Josh Gordon and Ray Rice just to name few all sideline not due to injury but to extra-curricular activities. If It continues the way things are we will end up missing many more great talent of the game.

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Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Use of the N-Word

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By Stefan Anderson

The National Football League is considering implementing a 15-yard penalty for the use of a discriminatory racial slur during a game. The league plans to institute a rule by which players would be penalized 15 yards for using discriminatory words on the field, especially the N-word, a second violation could result in an ejection. I believe is a great way to tarnish this harmful word, this rule will cause more controversy than change.

Following incidents like Riley Cooper or even Jonathon Martin vs. Richie Incognito, the word has been prevalent in the NFL, which is not the right message to sell to the billion dollar industry. No matter how the word is used in context, whether it is nigger or nigga, the term is used for two different reasons.  In the past the word nigger was used to insult and caused a lot of harm to African Americans. Insult to injury as considered by many, the word nigga is used as a term of endearment and way many youth greet and communicate with each other.

The new rule could be one that could inspire professionalism and inspire a new generation to abolish with the N-Word, with the lasting impact that the NFL has. This rule will terrible for the game as well promote racism as well. When you watch NFL games in today’s age, how many games are turned by little penalties like Pass Interferences, Roughing the Passer and Defenseless Receiver. Adding a penalty for the N- Word could not only change the gameplay of the game but also change the outcome of the game. How will referees be able to manage the call while paying attention to the game play and make the proper calls? It will be beyond hard to make a judgment on that call and when to call it and not to call it.

Imagine your favorite player, who is of African American decent gets a big first down to clinch a game for his team and then celebrates for his efforts and yells “ Yeah, Nigga” out of excitement and momentum he gets penalized for 15 yards and/or gets ejected for showing emotion. That would be outrageous, wouldn’t it be? In a league, where the majority of the players are African-Americans, who will be called for the penalty? Exactly. Imagine how much uproar will start if a Caucasian or other ethnicity uses the racial slur and is called for that penalty. The rule will be geared towards African-Americans, and prove the segregation and racism that still exists today.

As an African American male, I have used the term “nigga” before and use it with some of my associates but I do not use it to disrespect any of my ancestors, but as way to acknowledge each other as we do in our respective communities. I do not believe it that harmful to use it with one another but when it used to degrade one another, you have to find a way to clean up the issue and ultimately get rid of it.

Ultimately, I do agree with the implantation of the rule but I think it should be implanted in the locker rooms instead of the field. I agree with the NFL way of trying to get rid of the racial slur in order to create a healthier locker room and league, while promoting professionalism. The rule will be not good for the game of football, which the fans and players enjoy and this rule will do more bad for the league than good for it.