On Friday, September 19, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell emerged from his self-imposed, 10-day, hideout from the public, sponsors, NFL team owners, players and members of the media to preside over a press conference that was long on vagueness and short on concrete solutions.While Goodell issued several mea culpas, he failed to apologize to the victims, particularly the children, who have been, and continue to be, damaged by the violent actions of NFL stars.
Goodell spoke about how “sorry’ he was for the incidents of domestic and child abuse that have cast a pall over the game. He spoke about the valuable advice he expects to receive from his recently assembled domestic violence panel. Yet, while the NFL appointed an all-white panel of females to address the scourge of domestic violence, the league has been noticeably silent about the issue of child abuse. This needs to be changed without further delay.
When children witness domestic violence incidents by their parents or endure severe acts of corporal punishment such as what Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson administered to his four-year old son, the emotional scars last a lifetime. Experiencing a dysfunctional household exposes vulnerable children to potential lifetimes of harm, inability to establish trust and challenges with establishing appropriate boundaries.
Goodell has a responsibility to work hard at eliminating such awful conduct by his players so that women and children can be protected. Children, who are defenseless, deserve even greater protection. Goodell’s failure to outline clearcut measures to rid his league of abusive and violent conduct exhibited by his players, is beyond troubling. It’s a disgrace.
It is often said that “It takes a village to raise a child.” Where is the village now in calling on the NFL to implement policies to protect children? Where is the panel of experts that the NFL has put together to address child abuse? Why is it that at each press conference announcing that various players are being benched or placed on the “commissioner’s exempt list” no information is given about what is being done to focus on the abused children?
Has the NFL forgotten the abuse that Jerry Sandusky unleashed on innocent children at Penn State University because too many adults remained silent? It is time for Goodell to come out and publicly address the specific measures he plans to implement to keep children safe. Also, it is time for the public to be aggressive in demonstrating interest in the well-being of all children, not only those whose fathers play in the NFL–OnPointPress.net.