My Thoughts on the NFL & Abuse
I come to all of those in Life’s Struggle with the nth amount of love & respect for life.
I wish to discuss in this piece the recent events in the NFL & abuse at large. I would like it known that I’ve always been an avid fan of College & Professional Football. Perhaps that is due to the fact that I was raised in Wisconsin home of the Badgers & the Packers. I’ve also seen the roller coaster ride of the social & judicial mentality when it comes to domestic abuse, especially when it involves the partners in a relationship or union. I would like to share some of my present thoughts with you on this issue.
Many within society often see those within Professional Sports as Super Heroes or mentors for those who wish to follow in their shoes. However, they are mere mortals with exceptional talents & skills within a profession they love. Many of them have made self-sacrifices & great strides in order to reach their destination. Some of them have suffered just as many within the public domain regarding mental, physical & sexual abuse…many of them have also been victims of their environment & upbringing. We fail to take into account the total scope of their journey & only now focus on the games & their actions.
Although I now commend this Professional dimension in society for taking action & bringing domestic violence to the forefront of the public, we cannot solely rely on the NFL to curb the mentality or the violence that exists in our society. At the moment I believe that is what is happening…we’re looking to the NFL as a ‘cure-all’ & ‘trailblazer’ to abolish an issue that has been with us since the beginning of time on earth. Such violence & actions do not only occur within the NFL but are too common from the bottom of Life’s Food Chain to the apex of Life’s Ladder. No one entity will change the mentality that has embedded our perceptions of life or the role we play in those portraits. The mentality that curses too many, brings them misery & even disabilities & death can only become lessened through widespread education & the empowerment of individuals of both sexes.
There is no dimension within our existence that has not known or suffered from this issue. There is no class, race, creed or economic status that has not had such violence or events visit their realm. For centuries women have been treated as second class citizens & have been viewed as ‘property’ over the years by law enforcement & the judicial realms. There was a time in our Nation when men could murder their wives & it was known as a ‘crime of passion’ if it involved her cheating or stepping out on her husband. The same can be said for males who fall victim to emotional, physical & sexual abuse. Due to the fact that males were portrayed & profiled as being the stronger, dominant individual in our society, their own plight was often ignored & was often the brunt of (sic) jokes if they professed the crimes & indignities they were forced to endure.
I remember when the ‘Burning Bed’ made its debut & the uproar it caused across our Nation. Women who suffered many years of abuse who caused injury or killed their spouse did not receive the same justice as men who exercised the ‘crime of passion’ alibi. For centuries women have been forced to accept their ‘sub-servant’ roles to man & the mentality of society as a whole. When women spoke out about the issue, they were labeled as ‘bra burners’, ‘women in red’ & rebels who were tooting their own horn. Since the beginning of time women have had an uphill battle not to be seen as statistics but individuals. I don’t believe the majority of women want to be treated as equally as men on all levels in life, but they do want to be respected as equally & recognized for their self-worth. In my lifetime, I have held several jobs which were classified as ‘male’ employment. I did not receive the same wage & was often berated when I out performed them. I do believe there are things in life that either one sex or the other is better qualified to do or perform, not that it can’t be done by a female, just not as efficiently or as fast. However if a female does perform job tasks or meets all of the qualifications of their profession, I do believe they should be paid equally to their male counterpart.
I understand the elite & prominent role the NFL & sports in general play in our society, but why are we now so ‘down in the mouth’ about the NFL. If we look to Hollywood & the entertainment industry where abuse has been rooted, we do not protest Movie Studios, Directors or Producers to ban any of their stars for their domestic or acts of violence. Does not the public receive greater exposure to this realm of life than NFL offerings? What about the music industry…many times we hear of violence against a mate or partner & yet we rush out to purchase their music with no barn storming or broad protests or legislative hearings & investigations. We seem to accept such behavior & uncivil actions in these realms as part of the ‘life’ or ‘norm’ in their dimensions. So why do we focus just on the NFL? Is it the salaries? The enormous amount of revenue raised or the beginning of reform for the issue of ‘violence’?
This is an enormous issue which has many elements which contribute to its ongoing presence in our society & private lives. It is an issue where if all of the elements could be identified & dealt with on a nat’l scale it would be one of our most costly expenses outside of War. When you think of the physical & mental health issues, judiciary proceedings, the effects socially & economically on a family that must be assisted & healed you are dealing with astronomical amounts of funding. Perhaps that is why this issue has thrived for so long in our civilization. Perhaps its pride & individual weaknesses that we wish not to expose that so many have embraced or fallen victim to…but it is an issue that will not upright itself or go away just because we ‘wish’ it to be so.
It starts with each one of us…the transformation of our own mentality & perceptions of such violence & actions Perhaps if we started to see one another again as individuals & not just a number or statistic for number crunchers & politicians to point at. Maybe the 2 Golden Rules must be focused on once again…Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…Respect received is respect that can be given. Domestic violence & abuse have had centuries to strengthen & reinforce their chains within life, they won’t break on their own overnight, but if we can remove some of the links that enable it to exist with such impact & suppression on the masses, perhaps as a society & civilization we can truly earn our spot as the top of Life’s Circle & Food Chain.
So now I will sit back & observe this new movement, to see if it will stop at the gates of Stadiums & their boardrooms or travel to other dimensions where domestic violence is also prevalent. I do know that within the NFL itself & the players there is more good than what is currently being perceived. The players who give back to their communities, schools & neighborhoods both personally & monetarily is greatly appreciated & often overlooked. I will pay attention to the direction the NFL & the Nation take on the issue of Domestic Violence & continue to enjoy the sport of Football.
I thank you for your time & patience while I share my thoughts on this issue with you. I leave you as I came with the nth amount of love & respect for life…
Lady Gray/Rosemarie P.