Almost everyone involved comes off as so phony. Overlong well-crafted see-through fancy PR statements don't hide that.
Minnesota reactivates AP because they saw what life on the field would be like without him. Then Radisson drops the Vikings because of that decision, so of course now it's an instant about-face, but heaven forbid either statement had a shred of honestly in them.
All that's happening is that the NFL and its sponsors are watching and gauging the public reaction and THEN reacting, and trying to make it look like they're saying "See, we think this stuff is bad too! Very bad and we've known that all along! We're sensitive to it, always have been! We just didn't say anything about it until we were forced to make ourselves look like we're above all of this...I mean, you know, until we had to!" Sure, after it takes thousands of fans, sportswriters, and talking heads to get you to see that you should've shown that you were sensitive to this stuff to begin with, as opposed to people basically having to force your hands.
It's actually stunning how hard the NFL brand is getting hit...for so long, even when they did things that we didn't love, it felt like they could just about do no wrong. It's all come crashing down so hard and so fast. Yes, they'll survive this (we'll see if Goddell does), but who saw any of THIS coming a few months ago? The actual GAME of football isn't much more than a footnote right now.
Here's the question though, would a single fan stop watching or going to games even if Rice or Peterson were not even suspended for a single game? Maybe a few, and maybe you'll get a few protesters outside the league office and outside of stadiums, although you had just one protester show up outside of the Ravens' stadium with a sign about domestic violence. I know of not a single Patriots fan that has stopped watching Patriots games even though they were employing a psychotic triple murderer for three seasons, and knew of his inclination towards gun violence. On the Dolphins message board I lurk on, even the ones that were disgusted with the organization about allowing Incognito to do what he did, did not boycott a single game.
You would also expect the owners to do everything they can to hold on to Goodell. Fans might not care for him, but he's made the owners a lot of money. The owners did not get as rich as they did by being fools. While they might overpay for a big time free agent, they would not give Goodell the massive salary he gets unless he was making them even richer. I imagine each and every one of them is scared to death that they might be forced to replace him with someone like Condoleeza Rice, who might be necessary to help the image of the NFL in the eyes of sponsors and the press, but would not know the first thing about fattening the owners' wallets even more.
I've said it before, but much of the NFL's talent pool is made up of low-IQ violent thugs who are taught to be as aggressive as possible, who have been allowed to be violent thugs since high school and continuing through college. SEC schools seem to be in competition with one another to see how much they can bend academic requirements. You then give them millions of dollars and even more fame than they had before, and it becomes clear that Rice and Peterson might be the tip of the iceberg. And now media types are shocked! shocked! that many of these guys beat women, children and get arrested for all sorts of assaults. Give me a friggin' break.
Here's maybe the best take on AP that I've seen to date.
I’m all for leaving the government out of the bedroom, the bathroom, and the shed where you whip your boy with deciduous branches. … But Adrian Peterson isn’t really a dad. He’s a football player who likes to stroke his ego by impregnating women so the world may know the power of his seed. … He didn’t even know he had one kid until that kid was beaten to death. He may have as many as seven kids around the country.
Every summer Peterson hosts a Meet Dad Camp at his estate in Texas where his multitude of bastards get a couple weeks bowing down to the peacock before receiving some Vikings swag and a Greyhound ticket back to their moms. Just because you pay the court ordered child support and you like to brag about your reproductive powers doesn’t make you dad. Charles Barkley says all the black dads in the South whoop their kids like this. Great. … Make the Lorax weep with all the trees you fell just to make the perfect switch. But you can’t lacerate your rent-a-kid the day before he’s packed in the FexEd box and delivered back to his real home. Get some perspective. Adrian Peterson isn’t a throwback disciplinarian. He’s just a pretend dad who likes to hit kids with real sticks.