In the wake of the Ray Rice horror show, and the Adrian Peterson horror show, and the Greg Hardy horror show, and the Ray McDonald horror show, and the Daryl Washington horror show, and the Jonathan Dwyer horror show, and the 725 other arrests among the players who make money for him, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Friday afternoon in a mea culpa press conference that all 32 teams and their employees must attend educational sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault. Sounds promising, until you get to the part where it’s the NFL itself that’s designing the program. Will there be sessions on “hiding videos for beginners?” A lunch program on crafting the perfect tweet toblame a player’s battered spouse? How to blame your parents for beating your four-year-old son?
I understand that these programs are likely the first of many stops on the NFL apology tour, but I find it difficult to believe the answer to all of this drawn-out wrongdoing will be found in NFL locker rooms, with employees listening to mandatory NFL-designed domestic violence speakers. According to Goodell’s announcement, these compulsory programs are being developed by the NFL Players Association and a “top group of experts” that the NFL hired last week. And the woman in charge of one anti-violence organizations the NFL plans to “partner” with told me Sunday night that, as of right now, the relationship is purely financial.