The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Z_CNHI News Service

November 12, 2013

EDITORIALS: NFL players are people too; Get serious on financial crimes

Why do we place NFL players on a pedestal?

(The Tribune-Democrat / Johnstown, Pa.)

Pro football has never been more popular, but our society is beginning to have serious discussions about the game and its future. Or at least it should be having them.

The issue of head injuries has become a driving force in the game over the past few years. Having to write a $765 million check – which is what the National Football League agreed in August to pay to settle with more than 18,000 retired players over concussion-related brain injuries – will always make a business sit up and take notice.

With what we’re learning about the very real health problems that players from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s are facing in their post-football days, we have to wonder: Is it worth it? Players put their bodies on the line for years, knowing that could be doing long-term damage, but the love of the game and sizable paychecks kept them from worrying about what might happen to them down the road.

Still, the sport, which is thrilling to players and spectators, continues to captivate our nation. It can provide positive role models for young people. But it also produces plenty of examples that children should not follow.

The latest, if accusations are true, comes from Miami, where Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito has been suspended for allegedly bullying teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito is accused of numerous instances of bullying including leaving a vitriolic, racially offensive voicemail for his younger teammate, who eventually left the team due to emotional problems. The things that Incognito has been accused of doing and saying are the exact opposite of how we teach our children to act.

But for some, the blame has been shifted to Martin. He’s “too soft” for the NFL, according to some. Many athletes and writers have tried to shrug off bullying and hazing in NFL locker rooms, saying that the testosterone-fueled sport plays by a different set of rules than the 9-to-5 workaday world. And it does. But we must begin to ask ourselves, has it gone too far?

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo