Skip to comments.The NFL has a proportion and consistency problem
Posted on 05/13/2014 10:24:18 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Miami Dolphins hit defensive back Don Jones with a fine and an indefinite suspension for tweeting his reaction to the seventh-round selection of Sam by the Rams, or more likely, the televised kiss from Sam’s boyfriend as they celebrated the selection. The Dolphins and the NFL have had some embarrassing episodes of late about bullying in the locker room, and whether Jones likes it or not, he’s a public figure whose communications reflects on his team and the league.
So a fine seems reasonable, and a lengthy session of butt-chewing does too. But the indefinite suspension is wildly disproportionate to the offense — and a very sharp contrast to what the league hasn’t punished similarly:
Defensive players usually have to commit multiple helmet-to-helmet attacks on defenseless opponents to even get a time-limited suspension from the league, and those plays can end careers and leave life-long damage. Meanwhile, trash talking during the game has practically become de rigueur for the NFL. [T]aunting celebrations from the School For Talentless Mimes now follow even the most routine tackles. Players spit at each other, and as my friend Jazz Shaw pointed out, a few players in the league mocked Tim Tebow for his Christianity with fake prayer-kneeling on the field.
In other words, the players in this league spend more time taunting each other than in actually playing the game. Yet the Dolphins and presumably the NFL see fit to send Jones to the re-education gulag over an ill-considered tweet far off the field, one that was not even explicitly directed at Sam.
Fox Sports’ Clay Travis noted that the league is strangely inconsistent when it comes to off-field behavior, too. In February of this year, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was charged with beating his fiancée into unconsciousness in an Atlantic City casino. A grand jury handed down an indictment for third-degree aggravated assault, perhaps convinced by video footage of Rice dragging her out of an elevator, with no one else in sight. Rice has since asked for a pretrial “intervention” to avoid a conviction and a potential three-year sentence, expressing through his attorney that “he’s ashamed of his conduct and he’s sorry for what he did.”
And yet, as Travis notes, the Ravens and the NFL have yet to do anything to Rice even though the league has spent the last few years marketing heavily to increase its audience among women. “You get in more trouble for a Tweet about men kissing on a sports television show,” Travis writes, “than you do for allegedly knocking out your girlfriend and being charged with domestic assault? The message is clear: Words matter more than actions.”
It’s impossible to take Jones’ punishment seriously in this context. The Dolphins and the league wanted to avoid embarrassment during the draft, and made Jones an example as a signal to the rest of the league. That makes sense, and it’s important to understand that Jones isn’t owed a spot on the roster any more than Michael Sam is. But the indefinite suspension over a tweet given the behavior that this league either ignores or actively encourages is absurd, as is the Mao-esque demand for a re-education camp as a prerequisite for keeping his job. That doesn’t help Sam, and it should prove much more embarrassing to the NFL than any one-word tweet by a young man without a sense of discretion could generate.
Your thoughts, as always, are welcome in the comments.
Update: Here’s a market signal on the draft selection, via Allahpundit:
Michael Sam might have been the 249th player chosen in last week’s NFL draft, but his St. Louis Rams jersey is No. 2 in sales among rookie shirts being sold on NFL.com.
The St. Louis Rams picked the Missouri product in the seventh round of the draft Saturday, making Sam the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. The jersey of Johnny Manziel, drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Browns, is the top seller. In fact, his jersey has outsold all NFL veterans since April 1. From Thursday to Saturday, the days of the draft, almost as many Manziel jerseys were sold as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow jerseys combined on their draft years.
Update: For those claiming any punishment is not “conservative,” try this experiment. Go out on social media, identify yourself and your company, and claim a new hire is “horrible.” I doubt one would escape disciplinary action for that stunt once it came to management’s attention regardless of their political inclinations, but YMMV.
Gentlemen, this is Football. There’s no having fun in Football.
NFL a Dictatorship of the most Gayest proportions
NFL = No Fun League
An “indefinite” suspension in the off season means nothing. Riley Cooper was indefinitely suspended for his incident and came back a couple of days later. If Jones actually misses games we can talk about whether or not his punishment was excessive, until then it’s all just paper.
I've thought from the beginning that this whole thing was a publicity stunt for this guy who doesn't profile as an NFL starter to wedge his way onto a team.
I am sick of the PC NFL. I’ve been tuning out for a while. I barely watch it anymore.
I am sick of PC ESPN too. Other than a few college football games per year, I don’t watch that much either.
I used to watch both all the time.
yeah. the NFL goes out of their way to protect the gay guy from anything that might upset him, but they’re all over the christian guy...you remember him> tim tebow?
Jones won’t miss a game. Sam on the other hand will never play in one.
RE: Jones wont miss a game. Sam on the other hand will never play in one.
Are you saying Sam isn’t good enough?
Sarcasm aside, the herd mentality that follows and worships this league that treats everyone around it with such contempt really makes me shake my head.
"Freedom is the sure possession of those alone
who have the courage to defend it."
In the olden days part of the charm in football (or any pro sport) was hearing about the goofy personalities who played the game. They’d say dumb things, funny things, things that made you scratch your head.
Now, they will need to stick to a pre-approved script written by some colorless, anonymous bureaucrat buried deep in the organization. And if they don’t they’re out.
Gonna be very boring reading the sports pages from now on.
That's OK because even prior to Sams ascendancy the NFL had become a lot less fun and more like flag football than the original spirit of the game -no thanks.
NFL = Not Fully Lucid
The Sam I Ram fiasco was the NFL’s “first openly gay” IN YOUR FACE AMERICA moment.
Sam is probably disappointed he only trapped one guy.
Had the tweet been “OMG, Praying for him” the results would have been the same.
No more Football for me.