Dear Roger Goodell,
I am a sports fan. I’m also from Texas so of course I’m a football fan. Watching the Cowboys, no matter much they continually disappoint me, it is something I look forward to all week. For various reasons, some people are quick to dismiss sports. They don’t understand why we “waste” our time keeping up with leagues, players, and teams that we ultimately have no connection to.
This past week in the NFL exemplifies exactly why sports are important. Sports have a unique way of highlighting the best and worst aspects of society. Through sports and high-profile athletes, we have a means to discuss these important issues on a broader societal level. Domestic violence happens every day but it takes a Ray Rice situation to open the conversation. Parents have beaten their children for generations but it took Adrian Peterson beating his son for people to question the practice.
We could brand these players as steroid raging monsters and condemn the NFL for harboring these nasty people, or we can look at ourselves as a whole and ask the bigger questions. Why do we need video/photographic evidence of abuse? At what point does an organization have the authority to comment on the way a parent raises his or her children? What responsibility does an organization have to combat these issues overall?
Beyond how the NFL (…you) have handled this situation, it stands as mostly constructive way to discuss these issues.
PS: Don’t be so reactive.