I worry about the culture of professional football and how it has infused so many of us with the ability to look the other way and shrug when crimes occur.
The Rex Ryan era ended this Sunday after the miserable 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Met Life Stadium. Whether the once brash, Super-Bowl pledging, "ain't here to kiss Bill Belichick's rings" coach is put out of his misery now or at season's end ultimately make little difference.
There is no need for the 32 NFL teams to wait for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his self-imposed deadline of the Super Bowl to start to take action against domestic violence.
My friend Irene has told me for years that she has a magical mysterious pendulum that picks football games. I laughed at her stupidity forever UNTIL I came face to face with the magical pendulum the entire month of September.
ESPN has the responsibility to report on the issues surrounding our favorite sports, and sometimes, unfortunately, those happen to be moral and legal issues. However, it is not ESPN's responsibility to uncover facts and break stories.
Sexism. A culture of violence. Untrustworthy leadership. Runaway wealth inequality. An indifference to workers' health. Employees who are above the law. Hush-hush financing. Multimillion-dollar tax breaks. We're not talking about America's top corporations. We're talking about the NFL.
When Jameel McClain readies for the snap behind the New York Giants' defensive line, the imposing 6-foot-1-inch, 250-pound linebacker knows his task is to stop some of the most talented offensive players in the league.
The NFL's history of protecting thugs and hiding brain injuries is inexcusable. But the real outrage is that taxpayers are funding the construction of coliseums so that bruisers can smash each other in the mouth and billionaires can get richer.
While we (or I guess I should hope most of us) are not advocates of violence, including domestic violence, no changes to punishment of the league's players or re-defining policies will actually cause us to stop watching. The NFL and Rodger Goodell know that.
Obviously, the inconsistency in the League's response to certain violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy is becoming a serious issue.
Goodell's challenge, like Giamatti's, is to protect his league while also protecting the sacred trust of his fans. Thus far, he has not shown he's been able to do that.
In the worst public relations disaster since the U.S. Navy's Tailhook scandal or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's Bridgegate, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have embarrassed the league in less than a week. They have become the face of domestic violence.
With the power and popularity of football as its leverage, the NFL must take a leadership role and set the standard by having what would be considered the strongest enforcement policy on abuse, anywhere.
Rage has no brain. Rage doesn't stop to think about consequences. Rage acts first and thinks later. It cannot be "treated" punitively.
We should not give this kind of assault a special name and put it in a special category that ultimately belittles it, fails to protect society, and robs victims of justice. By calling it "domestic assault," as we have for so long, we put a white picket fence around it and in some weird way prettify it. Which is utterly inexcusable.
Scrolling down these tweets, I couldn't help but wonder: how many more women bear the same brunt of intimate partner violence? How many more women struggle to break the vicious cycle of violence and reconciliation that keeps them holding on to abusive relationships?