Make no mistake about one thing: the NFL is a business, created to make money. It's not a church or a prosecutor's office. Still, it is a business that is rooted in the creation of symbols and the building-up of heroes.
When a celebrity get busted for driving drunk with an ounce of cocaine, they at least admit to having a problem and check into a clinic. When a politician gets caught having an affair, they at least suggest they have let people down and get counseling. But for some reason being racist is the only sin that provides political cover.
What separates the Michael Dunns and George Zimmermans of the world from your average killer is their insistence that they are not only innocent but wronged.
Bullying behavior might be more pervasive in professional sports than in the general population, because athletes are conditioned early on to learn that a legion of admirers will coddle them and cater to their needs.
A few key names to consider: Richie Incognito, Chris Christie, Michael Dunn; the Baruch College fraternity boys. What do they have in common, this odd group of disparate males? Bullying. Unacceptably aggressive behavior. "Boys will be boys" mentality. Yes, it's a motley crew.
I think we all know bullying when we see it. If you find yourself head to head with this kind of leadership, you have a problem.
Of course there are the stories that revealed the brutal and often ugly nature of the games and their athletes. These are the stories that can stay in 2013 and hopefully never come back. But let's start with The Good.
There is a grander tradition among men, and perhaps this is a good time of year and a good time in our nation's troubled history for us to reach for that more noble part of our heritage.
Perhaps the scandal will lead to a revision of locker room culture and coaching methods so that allowing a diversity of personalities can be more widely shown to achieve the same winning results as worship of the fanatically macho myth.
Knowing there is a problem is not enough. Rallying around a common goal to produce the desired result is the way to go. While Bayless's passion is clearly evident it's not enough to solve complex problems.
There is another important aspect to this partnership. Vermont, a largely white state, has many students who have not lived or worked with minority populations. That is a handicap in a world that is increasingly diverse.
News flash: football is bullying; let's not romanticize the game and pretend that sportsmanship is a vital part of the game. In fact, that is the game -- to be the better bully than the other guy.
When Miami Dolphin Jonathan Martin complained he was bullied by teammate Richie Incognito, the public chose sides in a way we have not seen before in recent bullying stories.
The media has consistently been all over this story since it surfaced, and we at TheLegalBlitz.com thought it best to call in the pros for a proper analysis of some of the sports law issues at hand.
Richie Incognito should be ashamed of himself. But if we, as a society, continue to allow the warped locker room culture and definition of manhood that spawned Incognito, we should all feel ashamed.
True, when it comes to grownups, we usually refer to it as harassment and not bullying. But come on, people. Keep your eye on the ball here. Don't get distracted by the semantics and miss the substance.