NFL fumbles on Ray Rice’s punishment; Sends horrible message to about 50% of their fan base–women

So, finally, the NFL has spoken and Ray Rice will be suspended for two games and fined $58,000 for the domestic altercation he had with his now wife, Janay Palmer, who he hit so hard she was knocked unconscious. 

WHAT!!! HUH!!??

Yeah, so basically in the NFL if you smoke marijuana repeatedly you get at least a two-game suspension, or hitting an opposing player too hard you’re bound to get at least a one-game suspension. However, knocking a woman on her ass is only worthy of a two-game suspension!?! So, as it relates to domestic violence, the NFL isn’t really that concerned.

Perhaps the current PR campaign, Rice’s willingness to go to counseling and that ridiculous press conference he did with is wife was helpful in softening the blow. Whatever the case, he got off easy. 

I like what Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports said in his column:

Don’t tell me you care about women’s health come October. Don’t pinkwash the whole league and pay lip service to how much you care about women. Don’t trot out breast cancer survivors as symbols of the NFL’s close relationship with women and then give a man who threatened a woman’s health — ON TAPE — a two-game suspension.

 

….The NFL could have said to the women who silently suffer through domestic violence that the biggest, richest league in the country has their backs.

Instead, they’re telling players that smoking a joint — which is legal in two states — is much worse than knocking out a woman.

I would agree with Weber’s sentiments, except for one thing: a dog. Hitting a dog would have gotten him a harsher sentence than hitting a woman. SMH.  

Here’s what Jersey Girl Sports co-owner Marcelle English had to say:

I’m sure that many women saw the tape and has seen the behavior of Rice since the incident. I’m sure they also noticed how Palmer has stuck by Rice, and ultimately married the man who did this to her. While the NFL is not the be-all-end-all when it comes to promoting messages to stop violence against women, the league does have a responsibly to its female fans to not turn the other check when it comes to domestic violence.

I’m sure that the NFL knows the numbers when it comes to its female football fans, but in case they need a refresher…

  • Women are 48% of all NFL fans.
  • Women purchase 46% of all NFL merchandise.
  • Women playing fantasy football has increased over 300% since 2011/2012.
  • Finally according to Nielsen, 46% of the Super Bowl viewing audience is female, having them watch the game more than the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys combined.

What do those stats say?

It says that women are just as much, if not more involved and interested in football and the NFL as any fan. However with decisions like this to only suspend a player for two games and $58,000 fine, what message is that sending to its female fans.

In a letter to Rice, Goodell wrote, “Despite the court’s decision not to impose criminal punishment, the Commissioner determined, as he advised Rice, that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action.

“As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.”

While many fans of Rice and the Ravens are just happy that their running back will only miss the first two games of the season, women and female fans should be outraged that he didn’t get more. Did you know that that repeat violators of the NFL drug policy get a 4-game suspension, you shoot yourself in the leg like Plaxico Burress you get 4-games, you fight dogs you are suspended indefinitely?  Really NFL…where are your morals?  Where is your balance?

The message sent by the NFL depends on how you see this issue. Is it a private matter between two people with Ray Rice shouldering the burden of responsibility or does the NFL, a multi-billion dollar organization and the most popular sport in the U.S. have a much bigger responsibility to send a message out to say they are against violence against women–who make up 50% of their fan base?

What do you think?

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen giving up control of the team due to Alzheimer’s disease

According to the Denver Post, longtime Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is stepping down after disclosing that he has Alzheimer’s disease.

“As many in the Denver community and around the National Football League have speculated, my husband, Pat, has very bravely and quietly battled Alzheimer’s disease for the last few years,” Annabel Bowlen said in a statement to the Post. “He has elected to keep his condition private because he has strongly believed, and often said, ‘It’s not about me.’

“Pat has always wanted the focus to be solely on the Denver Broncos and the great fans who have supported this team with such passion during his 30 years as owner. My family is deeply saddened that Pat’s health no longer allows him to oversee the Broncos, which has led to this public acknowledgment of such a personal health condition.”

Joe Ellis, Broncos team president will take over the day-to-day operations of the team. The ownership of the team will move into the Bowlen family trust, with one of his children expected to take over ownership.

I’ve seen what Alzheimer’s can do to a person and how it affects a family. Our prayers are with Mr. Bowlen and his family as they deal with this horrible disease.

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis

Tony Dungy says he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam; Michael Sam is glad Dungy isn’t his coach

The super-hot sports topic this week has been centered around former NFL coach and sports analyst Tony Dungy. In a recent interview Dungy commented that he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL.

“I wouldn’t have taken him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. […] It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.”

Of course, people are all in a tizzy over these statements because Tony Dungy is the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl. 

What does one have to do with the other? Nothing! 

Dungy later clarified his statements saying he was speaking to the distraction Sam brings to a team.

I was asked whether I would have drafted Michael Sam and I answered that would not have drafted him,” he wrote. “I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team. At the time of my interview, the Oprah Winfrey reality show that was going to chronicle Michael’s first season had been announced.

I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL. He absolutely does.

I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process. It should not.

I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team. I would not.

Michael Sam responded in an interview with ESPN’s Rams writer Nick Wagoner who posted his comments on Twitter:

Sam on Dungy’s comments: “Thank God he wasn’t the St. Louis Rams coach. (laughs) I have a lot of respect for Coach Dungy.” (1 of 2)  7:06 PM – 22 Jul 2014

“And like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.” (2 of 2)  7:06 PM – 22 Jul 2014

Well stated Michael Sam! I think his response was very mature and appropriate.

Now, if you still have your panties in a bunch over this statement, remember that Michael Sam seemed to agree with Dungy initially. He cancelled the production of his reality show which was set to air on the OWN network because he said he didn’t want to be more of a distraction to his team.

So, what’s the problem with what Dungy said?

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis

Who’s Who In Sports and Entertainment Came To Play Ball In Supporting Richard Sherman’s Foundation

Who says that Seattle Seahawks man-of-the-hour, Richard Sherman can’t pull a crowd. On Sunday, Sherman brought in over 22,000 people to Safeco Field to watch and support his second annual charity softball game. In attendance were Sherman’s teammates quarterback Russell Wilson, defensive end Michael Bennett, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and safety Earl Thomas. Even music’s hottest new group, Macklemore stopped by to play a little ball. However the highlight of the night was to see Laker’s Kobe Bryant pick-up a bat after 20 years and hit a solo homer. Kobe-Bryant-softball

“I respect these guys tremendously and it’s humbling, it’s not something you can put into words,” Sherman said before the game started. “You don’t wake up one day and be like I’m going to have Kobe Bryant, Nate Robinson, Lawyer Milloy playing in my softball game, and Macklemore. It’s something that happened and you’re numb to the feeling until like years later when you realize that was a pretty incredible event.”

richard+sherman+softball+game-4_jpg_BIM In addition to Bryant, other NBA notables such as Jamal Crawford, former Seattle Super Sonics stars Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton took part, as did Chris Hansen, the investor hoping to bring the NBA back to Seattle. richard+sherman+softball+game-24_jpg_BIM

“He’s a psycho like me,” Bryant said of Sherman. “I think it’s just mutual respect and I have a great amount of respect for people who work at their craft. When him and I met, we just talked and hit it off.”   “I’ve always enjoyed coming here. I’d much rather come here in the postseason than Oklahoma,” Bryant said.

richard+sherman+softball+game-21_jpg_BIM Richard Sherman’s Foundation is run by himself and his brother, Branton. The beneficiaries are Sherman’s Blanket Coverage Family Foundation and other local charities who supply under-privileged, school-age kids with clothes, backpacks, computers and athletic shoes “to even the field,” as Sherman put it. As a kid from Compton who made it to Stanford, he’s keenly aware of class distinctions and the negative vibe it creates.

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Marcelle English

Documentary on Lakers’ dismal past season also reveals Kobe Bryant’s doubts and fears about the future

When you’ve only done one thing for the past 20 years, change can be scary and the future can seem bleak. Just ask Kobe Brant. In a documentary called Kobes Bryant’s Muse, the L.A. Lakers guard reveals his angst and excitement about his future.

Via ESPN:

“I’m afraid, too. You really have to lean on muses and mentors going forward, just as I did as a kid. It’s about having that next wave of things, which is scary as hell, but it’s fun at the same time.”

The documentary will air on Showtime in November is and is rumored to give us a different look at Bryant to see what makes him tick.

“It’s more introspective,” he said. “It’s about who or what has inspired me.”

Bryant is credited as an executive producer on the Showtime film, a vanity credit only.

“I’m not even quite sure what it is they do,” he said.

Kobe sat on the bench much of last season, which is the larger focus of the documentary. It will be interesting to see what he says about his life after basketball.

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I’m looking forward to watching the documentary. What do you think?

Your Jersey Girlfriend, 

~Angela Davis

 

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