Posted by: Opey | June 22, 2007

NFL to Start New Penal and Wheelchair Divisions

Following the past few months of news out of the NFL, would that title really surprise you if it was true?  What has been one of the greatest professional sports leagues of the past century, if not of all time, has taken a 180 degree turn and has become the league of dysfunction and disaster.  The most obvious signs of this turn for the worst has been the recent string of arrests, indictments and accusations levied against several NFL players, including some of the larger names in the game.  Michael Vick is being questioned in regards to his knowledge of alleged dog fights that took place at a property he at one time owned.  Adam “Pacman” Jones seems to be the pace setter of the criminal crew.  He now faces arrest on felony charges stringing from an altercation in Las Vegas.  Then there is the Bengals.  If by the end of the season there are more than 10 players on the team without a recent arrest, I’ll be surprised.  The new commissioner, Roger Goodell, appears to be taking a stand, but it appears to be too little to late, as the arrests have just snowballed to a point where they may be unstoppable.

If the arrest records of some of its players wasn’t enough to blacken the eye of the NFL, there is the issue of how it treats its former players.  More and more ex-players are coming forward with serious medical conditions and they are being brushed aside by the NFL.   These men are facing severe handicaps, if not death, and then NFL only offers a minor pittance to help them through their medical issues.  There are research reports out now that concussions dramatically increase the potential for serious health conditions in the future, and these players are, at least the lucky ones, living proof of this.  These players were the bricks that the NFL skyscraper were built out of and there needs to be better services available to them to help keep the NFL foundation strong.  The NFL has come out to say they will accept Social Security standards for disability claims, but this only scratches the surface of the physical and mental health issues that the NFL faces from former and current players.

The more general sad point of these two issues is that they still have not dragged the NFL into the depths of trouble that the NBA, MLB, and other professional leagues are in.  The main reason for this is, even though it takes them a while, the NFL does eventually address their problems.  Major League Baseball took forever to address the steroids issue that darkens the game, and even now their drug policy is a joke.  The MLBPA is too strong to allow for any of the necessary changes to take place in baseball.  The NBA also has trouble controlling the actions of their players, both on and off the court.  The NHL is on it’s deathbed and instead of feeding money into the system they pay off their executives with huge bonuses.   The NFL clearly has major issues that threaten to ruin the success the league has had over the past few decades, but through the excellent leadership of Roger Goodell, the league will pull out of it and rise to the top of the heap like it always does.

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Responses

  1. […] previously discussed my recent reactions to similar situations with other players in another post (Here).  I’ve had enough of the immaturity and lack of responsibility on the part of these […]

  2. […] whole “Crime in Sports” angle that I have touched on several times, with one such post here.  What I do want to talk about is the double standard in the legal world and the seemingly easy […]


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