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Monday, September 15, 2014

NFL Injury Update: The League

By on 9/15/2014 09:45:00 PM

In the wake of the recent allegations and events going occurring in the National Football League, it is time to pause, and take a look at these incidents from a societal perspective. Countless columns and Tweets have been sent out covering all angles, defending players and the league while at the same time, crucifying their very existence. Domestic violence, child abuse and the integrity of a multi-billion dollar entity have all come to the forefront of national conversation and debate sparking an intense, but ultimately healthy conversation about these issues. Taking into account just how many people are affected by these outlandish acts that are committed by people who are supposed to be role models for future generations, it is time to speak out both reasonably and realistically about the powerful platform present before us.

Domestic violence tears families apart at the seams, causes irreparable damage between loved ones, all while making those who commit these acts into a real-life monster. The tragic part in all of these cases (Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson) is without being able to get into these athletes' heads, is that most likely love the people they hurt more than words can describe. The debate rages on, ‘but how could you hurt someone you love?’ An uncontrollable rage that burns within a person that brings them to the point of physical violence is a sickness, just as is alcoholism or depression. Emotions rise to the point where self-control becomes an afterthought, and the menacing bull chasing down the red flag of the matador begins his relentless charge. Once subdued, the guilt and sorrow pour over in ways only mirrored by death itself. To be able to lose yourself in anger is a tragic flaw of man that no one deserves, yet so many suffer with and from.

The good news: there is hope in today’s vast world. Education and protection from this sickness is out there, and brought to light by some of the most beautiful people this planet has to offer. These athletes can learn to harness their emotions and make sure they only use them to provide us with one of the most miraculous spectacles in history, NFL football. Taking this aggression off the streets and onto the field is a key tool that must be utilized in this great game of ours; it stands as a perfect outlet. The bottom line is that domestic violence and child abuse regardless of race, color, creed, or reason is not acceptable by an athlete or anyone else and must be prevented and stopped at all costs.

In this age of social media, we have a responsibility to send our messages carefully and appropriately. The backlash of hate and negativity spread in wake of these events is while understandable, only adding fuel to this delicate fire. Taking to Twitter or Facebook to vent frustration and curse the name of those who committed these acts does not help anyone, and only further divides the line. These men need guidance and education, not an outcry for their heads. If someone makes a mistake and commits an act this horrible, they know what they have done. If it does not tare them apart as men and make them suffer internally in no way a message from a fan ever could, then they belong in jail or in an institution, plain and simple. Knowing that you hurt someone you love in such a way, buries your soul, hides it from reality and makes you feel infantile despite public perception or persona. Punishment for these crimes is best served alone and in silence, if this person deserves to carry on in our world of second chances, they will suffer adequately on their own behalf.

This league, and its commissioner, has fumbled mightily on this issue. Instead of setting president and prominence on the forefront of these issues, they cowered in indecision and self-loathing. It is not the fault of any one man or woman, but as a collective unit that failed to take action on a societal issue that needs a voice rather than that monstrous face it now possess. Setting standards for punishment, defined and true, would have allowed these athletes not to fear it, but perhaps understand the significance of it. Shine a light to make them see how hitting a woman or child is viewed by the world, and how their status as a superstar will not render them without guilt. The league committed the ultimate sin to us all by not speaking up for its athletes, and also the everyday person who deals with these issues that has caused millions of us unspeakable harm in every facet of life.

The NFL is a business first, and this is not forgotten, but it is also a platform unique to our society. It is a construct powerful enough to captivate an entire country, who should have heard its message ring throughout this great nation. Instead, we are left with controversy and probable convictions of some of our greatest potential role models. This injury report is for the league, for those affected, for us all.

Follow Chris on Twitter: @NYSports1129

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