By learning about the science of childhood adversity, and following the lead of many other organizations that are becoming trauma-informed, the NFL could have players whose families are happier and healthier, it could have better players.
When it comes to crafting an effective solution to a problem that most assuredly sits squarely within our lived reality, as Black women, we somehow find ourselves still pushed aside and overtly confined to a narrow space of irrelevancy. Even when it's our voices that remain necessary to make it right. No more.
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.
The twitterverse has already begun scoffing at ESPN's clear conflict of interest between reporting on sports "news" and being a partner with the sports whose programming it carries.
In sum, there is a cultural zeitgeist occurring within America at the moment. And that cultural zeitgeist is the fact that our entire society is now paying attention to women's issues such as rape and domestic violence in a way that has never happened before.
Well, I did it. A whole weekend -- plus Monday night -- without football. No Sunday NFL, no Saturday college (non-pro) football, no Monday night football. None. Zero. Nada. And here I am to tell the tale.
The biggest example of sociopathic behavior related to the NFL has nothing to do with Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. It has to do with us, because we're all content to turn a blind eye to this stuff and watch the next game.
The myth has been repeated by nearly everyone that the owners won't fire Goodell because he has done an outstanding job and brought all NFL teams a tremendous increase in financial value. The truth is quite different, and the only thing overvalued is Goodell himself.
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.
As the controversies rage on, the NFL appears rudderless, hardly inspiring confidence in Goodell or his leadership principles. I'm sure he's a decent guy, who loves football, and keeps his word, but Goodell's biggest problem is that he's acted like a bad politician, lacking in principles.
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.
Roger Goodell continued to play the role of Pete Rozelle, as envisioned by Roger Goodell. The arrogance was there, but the credibility was missing. The assertions of rectitude were repeated ad nauseam and they fell on deaf ears.
This week brought a surprise: In a time of rampant division, we saw an entire people -- or at least 55 percent of them -- choose unity instead. On Thursday, 3.6 million Scots went to the polls and chose not to change Great Britain to Somewhat Less Great Britain by voting against severing their 307-year union. Now, after the celebratory champagne and haggis (or whatever one drinks with haggis), comes the hard work of ironing out a new division of power. Less surprising was the continued upheaval in the NFL, as yet another player was arrested for domestic violence. On Friday, Commissioner Roger Goodell pledged to "make changes" and "do better." But the uniformly negative response to Goodell's fumbled press conference makes it clear that this NFL season will continue to be defined more by what happens off the field than on it.
The NFL is a huge business, but with its success comes great responsibility. Yet the owners and commissioner of the NFL have been more committed to protecting their business than in getting out ahead on several key social issues that have faced the league. Where is the leadership?
Obviously, the inconsistency in the League's response to certain violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy is becoming a serious issue.
Professional sports have been given a zone of immunity from the normal social, political and economic constraints that apply to the rest of us. Players and owners live in a sanctuary of a kind that the Hunchback of Notre Dame would understand. Enter these premises and the law doesn't apply. No more.