Sharper reasons not to watch the NFL

darren-sharperWhat the hell is going on with professional football players these days?

You have one guy, Darren Sharper, who was just arrested for date-raping the females he would meet in bars, as if being a good-looking and obviously wealthy, professional athlete wasn’t reason enough for a single girl to want to come back to your hotel room for consensual sex.

No, Darren needed that extra edge.  According to The Sporting News, he is under investigation for eight rapes nationwide.

Sharper is the same individual who in 2010 contributed to a book entitled NFL Dads Dedicated to Daughters where he wrote…My daughter makes (me) mindful of how women are treated, undervalued and exploited, which is why I felt compelled to take advantage of this opportunity to speak up about domestic violence.”

Yeah, all that while walking around with a pocketful of roofies.  Compelling testimony if it weren’t entirely hypocritical.  Enjoy your time in prison, Darren.

Then we have Ray Rice who was arrested on charges of domestic violence.  Allegedly, during a spat in a Las Vegas casino, Rice knocked his fiancée unconscious.  I guess she didn’t bet on black.  We have yet to see the actual contact but TMZ did obtain video of Rice dragging his wife-to-be out of a casino elevator as if it were a burden to him.

And they say chivalry is dead.

Of course Rice is innocent until proven guilty but regardless of whether or not he hit her (several eyewitnesses say he did) he’s clearly guilty of not giving a damn about her well-being.  Notice how delicately he moves her legs out of the way of the elevator door so as not to inconvenience the next group waiting for a ride.

Sharper and Rice aren’t the NFL’s only black eyes lately.  Bengal Andre Smith was arrested early last year for carrying a loaded firearm into an airport.  Former Steeler Chris Rainey was arrested for simple misdemeanor battery of his (hopefully former) girlfriend.  Dallas Cowboy Jay Ratliff was charged with DWI after he ran into an 18-wheeler.  Cincinnati’s Robert Sands was charged with fourth degree assault on his wife.  Atlanta’s Michael Boley was arrested on child abuse charges.  Detroit’s Amari Spievey was arrested for third degree assault and risk of injury to a child after a child support dispute.  Arizona’s Daryl Washington was arrested for aggravated assault on an ex-girlfriend.  And let us not forget about Aaron Hernandez.  We’re still not exactly sure how many people this guy has killed.

nfl arrests chartAs you can see, the list goes on and on.  I’m sure there’s a study somewhere that claims the NFL is a microcosm of society and that the rate its players commit crimes is far less than in civil society.  I was too busy not beating up females or driving my car into a ditch to verify whether that was true.

Is there anything wrong with the NFL holding its players to a higher standard?  I’m not saying all NFL players need to be role models.  I’m saying they shouldn’t be hitting their wives or drugging women to have sex with them.

One would think the NFL deems such behavior acceptable, right on page one of its players’ handbook, with the frequency that NFL players are arrested for domestic violence.  Perhaps it’s time to rewrite the league’s code of conduct or at a minimum ensure its players know it exists.

chicks ditkaFemale viewership is at an all-time high.  With its current concussion crisis, the NFL can ill afford losing such a broad part of its audience because its athletes are being carted off to prison for spousal abuse.  If your wife, girlfriend or significant other told you they no longer wanted to watch, could you blame them?

We’ve talked about this in the past.  The NFL provides us with a product/service just like our neighborhood bar, restaurant or drug store.  If we don’t like them, we don’t go, simple as that.  As customers, we reserve the right not to shop there.

I’m not suggesting we stop watching.  I am suggesting the league hold its players, and its teams, more accountable for their actions.

Here’s a suggestion.  If Ray Rice is found guilty of battery, not only should the NFL suspend him without pay, they should hold the Baltimore Ravens responsible as well.  Rice is scheduled to make $4 million dollars in 2014.  Should the NFL decide to suspend him for say, half the season, half of that four mil should go towards domestic violence charities.  Cut and dry.  Only then will I be convinced that the league genuinely cares about the behavior and responsibility of those who represent it.

ph-ray-rice-wegmansDPlaying in the National Football League used to be a privilege.  Not so much anymore.  Too often, we see guys acting as if the rules don’t apply to them, as if they’re above the law or even common decency.  It’s about time that stops and it’s about time the NFL takes steps to make that happen.  Removing players’ jerseys from the pro shops for fear of how it affects the league’s image is not enough.  Remove the PLAYER from the league as well.  Sharper’s actions were reprehensible, Rice’s nearly equally so.  Hold them accountable.

And if you refuse to do so and subsequently see a decline in ratings, you won’t need a crack research team to figure out why.

37 thoughts on “Sharper reasons not to watch the NFL

  1. Pingback: Sharper reasons not to watch the NFL - BallHyped Blog Network, NFL | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. It’s the same old story in an age of instant communication. Pro athletes have been bangin’ their way through life since there have been Pro athletes. What’s changed is the gentler sex (!). Like the dude on “Network”, they’re mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore! I’m sure there’s a certain type of attorney out there advertising for cases just like this too and that’s got to contribute to the perception that all of a sudden this type of behavior is now taking off. It’s just the women are now much more willing to stand up and take the heat for putting a Pro athlete on the stand…

  3. Dwin…

    Ya’ know what I’m waitin’ for?

    I’m waiting for the time a pro athlete puts his hands on a woman and she absolutely kicks his ass.

    Oh wait, didn’t that happen with Chuck Finely and Tawny Kitaen? And she seemed like such a nice girl in those Whitesnake videos.

  4. Superb post, CH. Definitely the best I have read by you. Love the idea of taking a suspended player’s salary and donating it to the corresponding charities. As you say, THEN we might take the NFL’s posturing seriously.

    Also, thanks for not including Incognito’s clowning among these serious, vicious, physical assaults. Amazing how grown men calling each other names warrants a four month investigation and a 144 page “independent” report, yet this continuing war on women results in only crickets chirping from the NFL.

  5. Let me pose this question to you , as you’re always pointing to the alleged positives done by the likes of Goodell and Stern , concerning their respective sports . What the hell have they ever actually done as it relates to player behavioral issues ? Mere slaps on the wrist are simple idiocy ! Now your waxing on as if this all comes as a surprise ? Darren Sharper was always a piece of scum and Ray Rice simply showing that you can’t take or change the behavior of someone who has no respect for women > Still believe the idiom of your the statement you made concerning locker room behavior in the NFL concerning the Incongito and Mike Pouncey ?

    Misogyny , racism and antisocial behavior still remains in the NFL and fans are acting with a great deal of apathy concerning it , just as long as it doesn’t relate to them at all in anyway . Lawrence Taylor rapes an underage teen and his defense was that ” she looked older than seventeen ” . Whether or not she was underage , his victim plead with her assailant not to be sexually assaulted .

    . Both the NBA and NFL have some serious image issues and the respective unions are nowhere to be seen in addressing them when it comes to the players . DeMaurice Smith is and will always remain a pompous @ss and the same can be said of his NBPA > counterpart . Damn ! A year after Billy Hunter and that dumb @ss union still has no Executive Director to oversee the affairs of the Players’ Union within the NBA ? No surprise there , given the criminal activities of Hunter and members of his family and lame stupidity of their executive committee , who had no oversight in terms of his misusing union funds and dues for his own personal gain .

    I’m still surprised that the US Justice Department has yet to be involved in the Sharper allegations considering the multiple jurisdiction in terms the other alleged sexual assaults outside the state of California ! Then again , Eric Holder is not the brightest guy in the world to be heading up that particular federal agency !

  6. Tawny Kitaen…rowwwrrrr 🙂 I’m gonna take an opp to invite my fellow readers to our fantasy nascar league…there’s still time to see if you can whip chump and/or deedee and/or me. Go to racing.fantasysports.yahoo.com to sign up. Group # is 14214 and pw is pnc1234

  7. Han…

    I know you must have heard Dallas’ Dale Hansen’s rant on the Michael Sam situation by now. If not, here’s a taste.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/barryhorn/20140213-wfaa-s-dale-hansen-shocked-stunned-commentary-went-viral.ece

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Yeah, the Incognito case really has no bearing here, if only in the sense that players have committed varying degrees of inappropriateness.

    It’s about time people learn how to act and it’s about time the NFL play a role in that.

    Whenever I go out and do what I do, I know I represent me, my employer and my family name. I’m not going to disrespect that. I honestly don’t know why anyone would.

  8. If it’s one thing we both can agree upon, Al, it’s that Goodell should take a larger role in ensuring proper behavior of his employees.

    We’ll see if that happens. Don’t hold your breath.

  9. Consider the idiocy of what took place after Donte Stallworth killed an innocent pedestrian in Miami several years ago and initial lack of action taken by the league .

    Stern for his part is simply no better but yet he’s still being lauded for his accomplishments , which have been simply to increase league revenues working in conjunction with USAB to raise the global profile on the world stage and not much more beyond that . Neither the NBA or NFL has a stringent testing policy for illicit substances but low and behold, all fans seems to be interested are stats which player might well be on the cusp of either getting paid or being “given the boot ” . Great deal of hypocrisy all round , I believe !

  10. Well, I guess we don’t talk much about it because we don’t want to admit it…but most football players by the very nature of the sport have to have an aggressive, violence-tolerant personality. And sometimes that rears its ugly side outside the lines. I agree I don’t want to hear anyone using metrics to tell me football players are within acceptable, normal levels of societal statistics. I would like to think all fans regardless of gender would be outraged by these actions but I do think we ultimately accept these bad actors and actions as a trade-off for still having the sport around. Sad but true. Gladiators aren’t known for always being civil in history…or in the present.

  11. My take on Jeter calling it quits on a two decade old career with the New York Yankees !

    Bowing out in style, bowing out gracefully or simply bowing out, because the game has now become uninteresting ?

    What is it with the idiocy of the journalists nationwide who believe that CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira will now assume the leadership role on the Yankees ? They were nowhere to be seen last season or the season before when both were needed given the competitive issues of the team during both seasons . Are these journalists really that anal retentive ?

    With the money that both Sabathia and Teixeira are being paid , with their @ss yet to step up to the plate , why would these guys in the media now believe because Jeter is about to leave , either has what it takes to be viewed as any type of leader for the team ? Hell, A Rod was brought in as the heir-apparent to Jeter and look at how his career has fared with the Yankees since 2004 .

  12. Yaz…

    Why would you want to submit my readers to me whipping their ass in fantasy NASCAR?

    We all know this is where everyone comes for their NASCAR news.

    No, in all seriousness, I’ll post that info in one my of FB NASCAR groups if you want. They’ll come flocking.

  13. I was gonna include Stallworth on that list, Al, but in that case, I blame our judicial system as well.

    How does a guy who kills another behind the wheel of his car only get thirty days in the slam?

  14. Burnsy…

    I don’t think there’s that fine of a line and I get it, they play a violent sport where it’s perfectly acceptable to bash a man’s head in, then we expect them to turn a switch and be the nice guy once they get off the field.

    I’m usually not down for comparing that sort of thing to our military but in that sense, comparisons are apropos.

    There are systems in place to ease our soldiers back into civil society. Whether they work or not is a different story but we do. The NFL desperately needs that as well.

    But still, shouldn’t these guys know better than to illegally drug or put their hands on women? At some point, these grown man have to be held accountable for their actions and not use the violence of the sport as an excuse or a crutch for their behavior.

  15. When the Miami Dade County District Attorney Karherine Fernandez-Rundle wants to plead down vehicular manslaughter to an almost simple misdemeanor , what the ##ck does that tell you about the Justice System , where it is now apparent , that a defendant has more rights than a victim ?

    Stallworth may well paid the victim’s family a $2.5 million out of court settlement but that still doesn’t absolve him of any wrongdoing and therein lies one of the idiocies behind Rundle’s decision concerning that particular case . Katherine Fernandez Rundle and the stat’s own Attorney General Pam Bondi are simply clueless , when it comes to the law , yet somehow they’re hired and placed in their present positions .

    All of this horse-s#it,. as the US having the best judicial system in the world will remain a frigging joke , especially when the idiots who seek to to claim that, do not research the basis for some the tenets upon certain edicts upon which the laws are based . It’s not only about the laws themselves it also has to do with the intelligence or lack thereof of the jurors being placed adjudicate these trials . Finding twelve of one’s peers in the state of Florida , with an ounce of basic education is almost impossible , given how ##cked up the education system has been for the past decade and a half at least ! The standards have been lowered by the state legislature and state education department , without all of the idiocy of what is being done, at the county level .

    Jeter leaving is one thing but this asinine notion that either Sabathia or Teixeira will step into the role as the vocal leader of the Yankees is simply comedic ! Neither player has ever shown that trait and only an idiot member of the New York print media would come up with such a notion . Mike Lupica must be thinking to himself ….” why didn’t I come up with that ” ?

  16. I hope it’s not a gimmick with the Nets to simply get more publicity but with them signing Jason Collins , let’s hope they’re doing it for competitive reasons rather than altruism . With all of the hypocrisy that went on and now all of a sudden at this point of season , now is the time that the Nets’ front office led by GM Billy King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov felt they were ready to make some type of statement on the matter ?

    There’s a reason why you can’t find any intelligence inside of the hierarchies of the Yankees , Knicks , Nets , Giants , Rangers , Islanders and Jets . Have I missed anyone out ?

    Stick to what you know and not what you’re told is the truth …

    tophatal …….

  17. I don’t think the 10-day signing of Jason Collins is a gimmick, Al. If that were the case, they would have hired him when he initially made his announcement. Michael Sam too.

    No, the Nets are desperate.

    They’re slow, old and oh yeah, still under. 500. How sad is it that that would make them a 6-seed in the East right now? Deron Williams is a total disappointment.

    Oh, and don’t look now but the Miami Heat are only a game-and-a-half out of first place in the East.

    Would you agree that the Pacers losing home court advantage throughout would seal their fate as another year of coming up short?

  18. Chris

    It’s a gimmick that could turn sour and lessen the image of the Nets’ franchise if it all goes ” South” . I mean look at Jason Collins’ career average , then look at the team’s alternatives at the center position ? As with the comment I made on my most recent piece concerning the second half of the NBA season , when there were a litany of free agent centers out there at the start of the season , why didn’t GM Billy King and Jason Kidd get together and foment a plan to sign one , then ? Read between the lines on this , because if after ten days his contributions are miniscule , then look for Jason Collins to be waived , even if it means adverse publicity for the Nets .

    All this has done , is to “create a happy place “ for the ” NBA” in spite of their long-held hypocrisy , especially as it relates to Stern and the union , who themselves are perhaps the biggest hypocrites within the NBA fraternity when it comes to a number of ” socially relevant issues ” !

    Not one team sought to acquire Jason Collins after the end of last season . Now because the profile has been raised concerning the sexuality of a male athlete and a chance that Michael Sam could become the ” first to actually play ” in the NFL , with his sexuality already known . Do you not find it somewhat ironic that at this juncture , it is now that the Nets and NBA decide to make history in this aspect ? Think about it at depth, before making a response .

    tophatal

  19. They just need minutes and defense, Al. He’s a former Net and the team had talked about signing him for quite some time. He knows their system. How many extra tickets do you think they’ll sell by signing Collins?

    I don’t think the Nets are doing this for publicity’s sake.

  20. Chris

    Which executive within the Nets’ front office do you believe made the decision to sign Collins to a ten day contract ? And if the team’s were such an urgency in terms of a demand for bodies and garbage minutes then why didn’t Brooklyn sign Jason Collins at the start of the season when he was available ?

    Having lost five of their last ten games before Sunday , I would say the wheels on Brooklyn’s season have already began to fall off !


    Defensively
    . this team remains a wreck , no matter how one tries to flip the script !

    If Jordan and the Bobcats were to somehow make it to the NBA Finals ( take an improbable leap of faith on this) and win it all , where would you rank it on the list of the player’s list of achievements as it relates to his NBA career ?

    tophatal …………..

  21. Considering how the Nets’ season has gone and where they stand within the division and conference . But a mere two weeks ago idiotic NBA pundits had this team challenging the Heat and Pacers for conference dominance ? They are falling apart at the seams because they lack leadership and some determined play from anyone on that roster at present . Adding Collins means nothing and besides when he was a Net , Jason Kidd was not a coach of the franchise , So how does that work for your premise as Collins being a former player with the franchise ?

    Still believe that the Sam story has no legs to it ? Consider this idiocy and the actions being proposed by this prominent DC lobbyist (Jack Burk) legislator and there were you suggesting that racism and homophobia was on the decline (ban gay players in the NFL ) ? Wake up and smell the coffee within your midst as well , man !

  22. Al…

    I think you’re missing the Collins point entirely.

    Were it not for the fact that he’s gay, this would be a non-story.

    His signing would have been a blurb in the transactions section.

  23. I’m not missing the point the NBA seems to be ! Now all of sudden a team feel it’s the time to sign him ? When did he make the announcement with regard to his sexuality [ (September and an CNN article of October 2013) ] and then of the beginning of the NBA schedule ? The season began October 29th 2013 . So I ask the question again , how is it that he wasn’t signed previously ? I don’t know how you go about relating to pieces of information , but it is clear that there is hypocrisy within the league no mater how one tries to spin it . His signing would have been a blurb no matter what , it’s just that now it’s being used as a social issue .

    And with Jack Burkman’s idiocy as a powerful f GOP strategist and lobbyist seeking legislation to have gay players banned in the NFL , where do you believe the next step will be taken ? Burkman is now backtracking by suggesting that he actually wants separate showers for the players who happen to heterosexual and those who happen to gay . Is this the best the guys on K Street can come up with while make themselves and that alleged party of inclusion relevant ? What a goddamn joke !

  24. Gay players banned, Al?

    Who the hell are these people and how in the world do they have a voice?

    Re: the Gators, I think Donovan is doing his best to keep his players’ focus on the present.

    Look, this team is about to do something that no Gator team has ever done: run the table in conference, a pretty damn impressive feat.

    I think the team, or at least I hope so, is buying into his message. And why wouldn’t they? The guy’s got a pretty impressive resume.

  25. The Gators are firing on all cylinders and deserving of that ranking . The draw however in the tourney will tell us a great deal about how far they are likely to go .

    Let ’em run the table , but I would rather see another national title , just as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of the Blue Devils !

    A Republican lobbyist , strategist , homophobic and quite possibly racist ? S#it that’s beyond the tri-fecta isn’t it ? Good for Jack Burkman , now let’s see him try and sell that bull#hit of his , in places such as San Francisco , Los Angeles, Miami , Tampa or even DC itself ! What an #sshole !

    This guy is an @ss who has no idea as to what his party needs much less actual temperature of the nation and its needs . It’s guys like Burkman that make some shy away from the party instead of being drawn to it . Did he say Marco Rubio ? Now I know he’s (Burkmann) frigging clueless !

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  28. Scumbags, these guys. Sickening. It happens everywhere, sadly, and these guys are in the spotlight, so we hear more about it. That’s why I really grasp on to guys like Peyton Manning and Larry Fitzgerald… athletes that show class and respect, not just to women, but to everyone.

  29. Here’s the thing that bugs me most, KP.

    Goodell wants to do this to the game and that to the game to tweak it but he doesn’t do anything about the character of the guys who play it.

    Someone’s priorities are out of whack, wouldn’t you say?

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