A Violent Femme’s View – An Open Letter to Roger Goodell
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.
A Very Disappointed Female Fan