I usually only post my view on Tuesdays. But I am so annoyed today that I am posting a special edition of A Violent Femme’s View. You may agree, or disagree. It’s a free country. But I had to get this off my chest (no pun intended).

Dear Roger (I won’t say Mr. Goodell, I don’t have to):

I never cease to be amazed by the NFL’s (i.e. your) ability to talk the talk and not walk the walk.

Your newest achievement of being inconsistent and insensitive shouldn’t surprise me, but it did.

Apparently, it’s open season on females when it comes to the actions of NFL players against them.

Granted, we fans were not privy to every piece of evidence in the examination of Jenn Sterger’s allegations. Nor were the press for that matter. But it seems pretty clear, even from your pathetic press release, that you believe indeed something went on and were unable (or unwilling) to prove it (unable? REALLY?) and stymied by a hick country hillbilly who NEVER will admit that he’s done anything wrong, or that he’s hurt anyone. After all, he’s got an image and a cash flow to keep.

You protected Favre and we all know it. That you did so was ludicrous. But again, it shouldn’t be surprising that you’re inconsistent.

Johnny Jolly’s gone for a whole season. The worst thing Jolly did was to himself. Granted, he was charged with an illegal act, which is bad, but as it turned out it harmed no one but him. I agreed with your decision. Jolly did something that was serious and deserved public scrutiny and professional punishment.

Compare that to Ben Roethlisberger. Oh, yes, when you suspended him it was “ooooh, the big bad Commissioner took it to Big Ben. He’s gonna pay.” Pay what exactly? He only ended up losing four games. He was coming off a season of getting his bell rung anyway, and while the Steelers’ season results could have been hurt if he’d been suspended for the full assessment, it all came to nothing anyway because you apparently felt that he should get time off for good behavior; instead of really having some consequences-when he had obviously shown repeated bad judgement when it came to incidents with women and a lack of respect for the female sex. The Steelers even said so, although they suddenly were okay with your decisions as well. Ben was willing to accept your discipline if it “wasn’t too harsh?” Too harsh? What the hell did that poor girl go through? That sounded harsh to me and was validated to a very real extent by the investigation.

Now, Favre. Did Favre trap some woman in a bathroom and force her into doing something she didn’t want to do (call it rape or not)? No. By all accounts that did not happen. But someone on the Jets apparently gave an employee’s number out to a fellow employee without her knowledge or permission, and then Employee #1 proceeded to show Employee #2 how much he liked her in a really odd way that from my (female) perspective was very screwed up. The carefully worded statement you’ve had the NFL issue, Roger, doesn’t alter any of the above. I have no reason to think Sterger’s team would have said they could prove the phone number that sent these photos if they couldn’t. That would be incredibly stupid if they’re thinking of moving forward with a lawsuit. It’s also interesting that you’ve structured this in such a way to limit Ms. Sterger’s ability to bring a lawsuit, Roger. No doubt you are a crafty devil. At the very least, you could have fined Mr. Perfect for a whole game’s worth of salary, or something significant to create this fund to educate players you blathered about. Brett not cooperating in a sexual harassment investigation and your apparent willingness to put up with this speaks volumes.

Biggest differences to me in these three cases? Jolly was not a really well known player who brings in lots of revenue to the NFL. Oh, and drugs are far more serious than treating women like crap. Obviously. Whatever.

You say you’re really wanting to encourage female fans to embrace the NFL, Roger. I’ve been a fan of the NFL for a long time. But I am appalled at and ashamed of the governing body of this organization right now. I understand that what happens between consenting adults happens. (Hell, I still supported Bill Clinton after the whole Monica thing.) This is different. I also realize that no laws were broken. Hmm, more appropriately that no charges were filed in either of the QBs transgressions. This is not about what you should do when you are married, before you are married in a consensual relationship, etc. This is about attitude and the willingness of the female in question to participate in any activity with someone at least twice her size and about 50 times as wealthy, who has people protecting him. He’s got the upper hand. Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter if she’s in a bar with her friends, if she wears tight clothes, or if she’s posed in Playboy. IT. DOESN’T. MATTER. I didn’t think what you did to Ben was strong enough. What you’ve handed to Favre is a JOKE.

Not for the first time or the last time am I grateful that Ted Thompson has a fricking backbone. Also, I am yet again apologetic for doubting his motivations in making the personnel moves he did. You could learn a lot from him, Roger.

But you won’t. Money talks, and important (marquee) players walk. Got it.

Oh, and Roger, tell goodbye to Brett. His stuff stays firmly in my closet. Until I sell it. And he can retire a Viking for all I care.

Sincerely,

A Very Disappointed Female Fan

 

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  • http://www.cheeseheadtv.com/lounge Jayme

    Thing I liked most in this article: The IT DOESN’T MATTER section. Why do people not get that?

    Also, from what I’ve read in the press release it clearly states that Sterger did not engage in inappropriate contact. Meaning to me that they clearly believe it was one sided, as I believe it was, and that she was harassed.

    One thing that has always bothered me is that it does not seem to bother Goodell, the NFL, the Jets or really anyone that Sterger was harassed. That to me is the one proven fact of this case. If Favre is a douche (big surprise there) and unwilling to cooperate and therefore the NFL can’t prove WHO harassed her, shouldn’t there be a little more concern that someone in the Jets staff started this whole thing?

    I have unfortunately known too many women who have been harassed and worse. The NFL sent a clear message today and this year that there concern is not with the overall well being of a demographic that they are trying to “corner”. There concern is with money and the quickest, less messy solutions.

    Puke.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  • http://www.thepackerbacker.com Clay Toporski

    Great article. I like the Johnny Jolly and Big Ben comparisons. Clearly, the precedent has been set: take part in illegal substances = banned for a season (or more). Treating women poorly and/or sexually harassing them = slap on the wrist. I’m glad the NFL (aka Mr. Goodell) have decided to truly embrace their hypocrisy. We wouldn’t want them to be inconsistent would we?

  • http://www.pwcpackerworldcentral.blogspot.com PWC

    Very well stated. It’s obvious that reputations of players play into decisions that the NFL makes. Goodell and the NFL simply made a very poor choice in this instance. Very sad situation.

  • http://greenbaypackernation.com John Rehor

    Excellent read!

    Its pathetic that the entire punishment for Favre’s wrong doing is 4 minutes of one game, based on his salary. Unbelievable.

    Roethlisburger gets suspended, Jolly gets suspended, Favre gets away with his crime essentially unscathed.

    For someone who talls the talk, Goddell certianly looks the part of the puppet, being pulled at the strings by someone who must be bigger than the league itself. He should be embarassed.

  • Mark

    Jolly was suspended for a failed drug test not personal conduct jolly failed 2 previous drug tests apparently

  • Mark

    also i said this to you on twitter bur i hope sterger sues him for every damn penny he has

  • Colleen

    True, Mark. But my point is why is the protocol about transgressions with females different than drugs? Both are serious. And should be dealt with consistently. :)

  • http://www.pocketdoppler.com BigSnakeMan

    $50,000? I have to believe that Sterger herself could have gotten more out of ’4′ had she decided to force the issue. But you’re wrong about the NFL; they’ve been VERY consistent in their protective treatment of ’4′.

  • gbpf127

    As a female, I’m not as outraged. I have a different perspective on this. But I appreciate your passion Colleen and thought this was very well written.

    I do agree that Goodell walks a fine line with his many policies. It should be black and white, not gray areas with subjectiveness.

    As a Packer fan, I like many, have been self-absorbed in trying to take Favre down several notches since the summer of 08. I don’t know how many headaches I have from banging my head against the wall when dealing with Favre apologists.

    But I ask myself, if the Packers were not my team, would I even care about reading anything about Favre anymore or even care about this end result. I don’t know because color me a Packer fan who has Favre fatigue.

    But with that said, I believe Favre is a narcissist not unlike Roethlisberger. The sense of entitlement factor reigns supreme for both. They are charming when they need to be. They like to push the extremes of boundaries with life and the law. That is the thrill they seek. I know firsthand the damage they can do. BUT yet, they always seem to manage to remain under the radar when found out or challenged. And often their charm again works in their favor often. If not, they just move on to their next victim.

    Now my moral compass doesn’t exactly point due north but I do know moral right from moral wrong, unlike Bretters and Big Ben. Unfortunately, lack of morals is not a felony offense, or even a misdemeanor, at least to my knowledge.

    In the case of Jolly and purple drank, it is a felony offense within the legal system. Therefore, I can’t find the comparison as I do believe that this is spelled out in the NFL handbooks.

    And unfortunately, I can’t sympathize with Jenn Sterger either. It seems she was reluctant to be involved with this entire case. I think the greater outrage as a female is that she did not bring up “inappropriate behavior” when the acts initially occurred. Stand up women! This is bullshit behavior and we don’t have to take it. Report it when it happens.

    Once Deadspin broke, and a lawyer and agent became involved, it is now inappropriate? Sorry. Not buying it. It now involves spotlight, greed, and 15 minutes of fame.

    Like I said, color me a Packer fan with Favre fatigue. Hopefully with only one more regular season game for the Vikings, Favre can slither back under the rock he belongs shortly. And we can all focus on Packer football only.

    mg

  • Anita

    Standing O, Colleen. Absolutely excellent.

    I think Roger needs to read this.

    At first, I was impressed with Roger Goodell and the fact that he was coming down on NFL players who had previously thought that the rules didn’t apply to them. However, this season especially, inconsistencies have popped up and they all have to do with marquee QB’s. Even Michael Vick, after being given a second chance with the league, was dumb enough to attend a birthday party also attended by his former dog fighting partner, whom he was not allowed to even associate with under terms of his release. That partner ended up being shot at Vick’s birthday party. Vick didn’t pull the trigger, but he obviously showed extremely bad judgement even ATTENDING. All this after Goodell told him that he was on a VERY short leash (no pun intended) and that there would be no second chances if he screwed up (when he was reinstated). What happened? Nada. The NFL looked the other way. So much for that short leash. Micheal Vick is a QB and a money maker. There is also a very large fraction of fans and PLAYERS who think he was punished TOO harshly to begin with. Rather than open up a huge can of worms, he turned his back. That was my first hint that Roger Goodell MAY not be as law and order as I thought. Letting Rapistberger off his punishment two games early, was confirmation of that. Favre is now par for the course.

    Thank God the Packers have a grown-up at QB now. Funny thing, though. That grown-up is actually younger than Vick, Roethelisberger AND Favre. Let’s hope the sense of entitlement that came after years of being pampered, paid, coddled and adored, doesn’t turn him into an asshole eventually, as well.

  • foundinidaho

    Thanks for the dialogue, everyone.

    Mark – I don’t think there should be a lot of difference between the drug thing and the girl thing. That’s my point on that part.

    Mary – I hear you on the Favre fatigue. I will say I was every bit as upset at the Ben R. thing getting lifted early as I am at this, so while I might be mentally letting myself off the hook I don’t think it’s because it involves BLF. I’d already mentally confirmed Brett’s a jerk. This didn’t reallly increase that. It did however pretty much wipe out his ability to redeem himself in my mind since he refused to cooperate. Just awful.

    Anita – I worry about AR too. But I’ve come to the conclusion that if he’s not a jerk by now, he’ll probably be okay. IF he’s not a jerk. As with BLF, do we really know for sure? I just hope he’s not.

  • Anita

    Additionally, what have the PLAYERS learned from this? That if you do not cooperate and stonewall when the NFL questions you, you get a handslap. Cooperate, admit wrongdoing, and you get a bigger fine, possibly a suspension.