This morning I made the decision to break up with the NFL – The National Football League. I’ve been having a love-hate affair with the NFL for well over 50 years, and finally – I have had enough.
It’s sad to walk away, but sometimes – sometimes we have to do what feels right for us – for our well-being, for our sense of what is right and wrong. For me – it is time to walk away. Time to put my NFL hats and my NFL t-shirts on the shelf and spend the time I would watching football doing something constructive, and spend the money I would on hats, t-shirts, etc on something more positive – you know- like a trip to England or France or Big Sur.
Watching football was a nostalgia thing for me. It was Sunday afternoons in the early 1960’s at my Aunt Jeans laying on the floor watching the Baltimore Colts with my Dad and my Uncle Mike. It was a bonding kind of thing – not so much of a drinking, yelling, eating and cursing kind of thing.
I love football, but when we went to the Stadium last year to see the San Diego Chargers, I thought that perhaps the wand search was a little too much, along with all the rules about swearing and fighting and drinking – seriously – are we not adults? Do we not know not to drink too much and punch people? Obviously, we do not.
Susan and I stopped going to night games when we had to lay down on the floor of our car and call 911 because people were running through the parking lot shooting at each other. Again – there was alcohol involved in this incident and something about someone wearing the wrong jersey. Seriously – you’re going to shoot someone because you don’t like their jersey?
The whole Ray Rice thing was the last straw for me. I feel that the NFL cares little for me as a woman, or as a fan. I don’t care who instigated the fight – I don’t care that she married him after he knocked her out – I care that he’s the pro football player trained to hit and injure. He’s also a man and should know that you never strike a woman – no matter what – you walk away. And I totally care that the value of knocking out a woman to the NFL is a two-game suspension.
- Vincent Jackson got a 3-game suspension for unlicensed driving.
- Terrelle Pryor got a 5-game suspension for violating the NCAA’s improper benefits policy
- Plaxico Burress got a 4-game suspension for shooting himself in the leg – He was later sentenced to two years in jail for violating the stringent gun laws of New York.
- Michael Vick was suspended indefinitely before the 2007 season. He served almost two years in federal prison. He was permitted to return to the NFL and was suspended for four games of the 2009 season.
Breaking up is never easy, goodbye is not always goodbye, but for now – the National Football League is not something I want to associate with. If they were to apologize to women for their lack of respect, and talk about domestic violence – I’ll pull my hats off the shelf – until then – my Sunday’s just freed up!
So, if you are watching and drinking and yelling – remember that the NFL places the value of women at two games. For me: it’s time to walk away – and so I shall. For the truth of the matter is this: Football is a game – domestic violence is most surely NOT.