Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Open Letter to Roger Goodell

Dear Roger Goodell,

You have made it clear that your goal as a commissioner is to "Protect the Shield" of the NFL. As someone who follows the NFL closely I have to ask, what does the NFL Shield really mean? You try to paint it as a league that cares about its players and cares about the community, but when it comes down to it, both yourself and the rest of the NFL do not care about the community at all.

It is currently Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Players, coaches, and referees are decked out in pink in order to raise money for and awareness for breast cancer research. This seems like a great cause. However, you don't care. Roughly 8% of the money raised through uniform sales goes to fighting breast cancer. To be fair, the league does donate $1 Million to the cause every year. This translates to roughly $31,000 per NFL team. In context, you Roger Goodell made $95,890 today.

DeAngelo William's mother died of Breast Cancer in 2014. According to him, “Nobody came to the funeral. The owner didn’t reach out. He didn’t say anything. Never talked to me. Nobody upstairs ever talked to me. The only two people who ever said anything to me was Coach Rivera and Dave Gettleman. Everybody else was … they were busy because it was the draft.” Williams requested that the NFL allow him to wear pink all season in honor of his mother. You, Roger, said no. Instead you fined him $5,787 for wearing eye black that said "Find The Cure." Breast Cancer Awareness if very important to the NFL...as long as they are able to sell their jerseys.

How about the Military, Roger? If I go to the NFL shop I can buy jerseys that are labeled to be a "Salute to Service." Meanwhile, your league took in millions of dollars from military branches for military tributes, advertisements, and events. I'm pretty good at math, Roger, and that nets out to be a huge gain for the NFL.

In 2012 the NFL donated $800,000 to the troops. Lets put this into context. A 30 second add in 2016 for a regular season game will cost between $300,000 and $700,000. In less than 1 minute the NFL will make back what it donated to the troops. 

At the start of 2016 the Dallas Cowboys requested to honor the police officers who were murdered in their city by wearing decals on their helmets. You, Roger, declined.

And now domestic violence. Roger, you suspended Ray Rice for 2 games after he punched his wife in the jaw in 2014. Once video came out of the incident and the public saw what happened, then you cared. All of a sudden, the league cares about domestic violence. The league began donating time to "nomore.org," a great organization that is fighting domestic violence, featuring its players and coaches in the commercials. Only after you completely botched the Ray Rice situation, where you could have taken a hard stance against domestic violence and shown that it will not be tolerated in the NFL, did you care about domestic violence. This was in the same season that Tom Brady was suspended for maybe being aware that footballs were slightly deflated (after being outside in freezing temperatures). 

In 2015 William Gay, whose mother was murdered after a domestic violence incident, was fined $5,787 for wearing purple cleats to honor her and raise awareness for domestic violence. Another instance of your league, Roger, being okay with promoting a cause as long as the NFL reaps the marketing benefits.

In 2016, two years after the league tried to paint their Shield to show that they are fighting domestic violence, you suspend Josh Brown for one game after finding out that Josh Brown had previously been arrested for domestic violence. Josh Brown is a monster. You and your league had clear evidence that he was a monster. And now that this evidence is coming out to the public, you are once again in the spotlight as a league who does not care about domestic violence. 

I really cannot figure this one out. You were aware that Josh Brown was a domestic abuser, yet you only suspend him one game? Had you originally suspended him for 6 games, like your policy states, or indefinitely, no one would have disagreed. The league would have been praised for making a stance against a despicable human being. That chance is now gone. The public, once again, sees that you and your league are a bunch of massive frauds. What is my guess on why you didn't come down harder originally on Brown? You did not want to draw attention to the fact that domestic violence is still a massive issue within your league. 

Roger, if I asked you what the NFL Shield stands for you would probably say something along the lines of "honor" or "integrity." That is a lie. What the shield really stands for is "Marketing" and "Cashing Out." 

The NFL is a business and I am fine with them trying to make as much money as possible. What I am not okay with is them painting the picture that they are a league that is dedicated to its players and fans. That is an outright lie. The league is dedicated to itself. Roger Goodell is dedicated to himself.

Sincerely,
An NFL Viewer

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