The Politics of Caring
The NFL has dominated the media lately. Or, more correctly…the media has dominated the NFL lately. And not for the fact that the season’s just begun. The Ray Rice’s Punch-Out! incident has become an issue no media consumer has been able to escape, and it’s snowballed into a rather sordid affair involving everyone from professional athletes to their bosses to media analysts and ultimately political pundits. So as is my wont I will write an opinion and foist my proverbial two cents for the world to read.
Here it is: “I DON’T CARE.”
Granted, that pretty much sums up my opinion of pro football in general for the past decade as well. But this particular set of events tweaks my historic sport sentiment like a purple nurple from the ninth level of torment. Allow me to explain.
The primary problem I have with the whole thing is the utter politically correct response it received. I’ve always hated the “such-and-such awareness” movement that has cropped up over my adult lifetime. Every month–scratch that, every week–has been proclaimed a whatever awareness time in order to elicit desired responses. The biggest one is probably October as breast cancer awareness month…the one that the NFL makes their players wear pink crap on their uniforms to generate awareness. Why the typical drunken redneck male audience needs this attention is beyond me, but I get the general idea: induce women to schedule regular mammograms, encourage people to donate to cancer research, and the like. And I have no problem with this, aside from the fact that they are incessant with sticking it in your face for a whole frigging month.
Projecting that onto our issue at hand, we have a football player caught on film dragging his fiance out of an elevator after she’d boarded it perfectly well in the lobby. We know he punched her out because he admitted it: they’d been into it before getting on, and it escalated to the point of physical violence. And nobody is cool with this…except the local judge, who let him get in a diversionary program rather than throw the book at him. Oh, and apparently his girlfriend, either, who wouldn’t cooperate with the prosecution and is now his wife…yeah, they obviously kissed and made up. But domestic abuse is bad, and we must distance ourselves from the bad. Therefore, the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, ruled on the matter with a suspension and fine, which is within the power and discretion of the league.
And that would have been the end of it, but then the video of the actual fisticuffs gets out there, and everything immediately hit the fan.
Enter my next problem with this situation: “look how much I care about this” is something that people use for their own aggrandizement. You had women’s groups who thought the fine/suspension was not sufficient to send a message or punitive enough, as if the league is some sort of star chamber inquisition designed to root out what the legal system misses. You had politicians who by their very existence make a career of being butthurt over anything potentially advantageous to them speaking out. You had eager beaver sports broadcasters and journalists crying about how epidemic it all is to the sport and that it has to do something to get past it. You have social commentators taking the opportunity to condemn men as a whole and spewing the rape culture bushwah. The whole incident becomes a major news story, and the NFL cravenly decides they’d better kiss everyone’s collectively outraged behinds, toe the PC line, and just can the guy.
Thus it devolved into a witch-hunt: over and above the fact that running backs in the NFL are in no way in short supply, Ray Rice is unhireable at this point. I imagine it’s pretty rough seas for the Rice family right now, with the breadwinner, a professional athlete, being tarred and feathered so thoroughly. He’ll be lucky to get a job at McDonald’s. And now they’re looking for anyone and everyone who’s ever done anything…the current thing is Adrian Peterson’s disciplinary methods with his children…he wore one out with a switch a while back, and everyone’s again concerned with how concerned everyone should be. So now everyone’s getting a virtual body cavity search.
One part I find humorous in this is how Goodell’s being pressured to quit…to fall on his own politically correct sword. Hey, you live by it, you die by it, right? But the genuinely funny thing is how the fans are reacting. Not only do they not seem to care, but some have backlashed against the media onslaught. Just this week, the journotards on television were whining over how female fans were still wearing Ray Rice jerseys, and they really lost it over the Adrian Peterson fan who was walking around carrying switches with her.
I have to hand it to the fans: they don’t care what was done precisely because it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. This is what the media mongoloids have missed: people hear Ray Rice punched out his eventual wife, and they say, “that’s too bad.” They don’t go on and on about how he needs to lose his job and should have been jailed and the NFL is all about the rape culture on account of one guy who did something incredibly stupid but then by all accounts made up for it as best as he could and later became happily married to the very woman he attacked but who chose to forgive him and commit herself and the rest of her life to him. [ed: no apologies for the massive sentence…it’s written as it would’ve been spoken] If she forgave him and the legal system was satisfied, for whose part is the crusade for justice? It’s not for awareness or reckoning: it was for another human sacrifice to the PC beast.
P.S. I also believe it was meant for the continued marginalization of the sport of football, but that’s a subject for another time.