Commissioner Gambadoro: NFL should lean on players’ wives and girlfriends to fix domestic abuse issues
OK, time for me to play NFL commissioner. Might as well since the real commissioner is missing in action, probably holed up in a bunker somewhere waiting for the Russians to arrive.
Look, anyone who has listened to the show for any extended period of times knows this: I think Roger Goodell is a dope. Maybe the worst commissioner or second to former NHL boss John Ziegler in my lifetime. He’s a clueless buffoon. I wouldn’t have Goodell run the bagel shop down the block let alone an industry raking in $10 billion a year.
In one of the worst weeks the NFL has endured in quite some time, they are leaderless. The NFL owners, players and fans have no one to turn to that can right this ship, repair the image and fix the problems. The embattled Goodell sits idle while former star players, sponsors, media, fans and women’s rights groups voice their displeasure with the league and its handling of players involved in domestic violence and child abuse.
And we can’t expect much from Goodell when he does eventually surface. Maybe some new policy on punishment that will be too little, too late. Goodell has had ample time to act on domestic violence issues in the NFL and he has missed the boat every time. He had the perfect opportunity to protect the wives, girlfriends and children of NFL players after Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher committed a murder-suicide with his girlfriend and the mother of his child on Dec. 1, 2012.
So I will take the lead here. You want to address the problem? Don’t just come up with a punishment of deactivating players. It’s simple, but Goodell isn’t smart enough to figure this out. So here is what you do. Get all of the players’ wives and girlfriends together one NFL city at a time and work with them. Some of them are the victims. But more than that, they are the ones that know the players better than anyone else. They are the ones the players come home to after a win or loss. They are the ones the players come home to after practice. They know when their man is high and when he is low, when he is up and when he is down.
Who better to understand the temperament of players than the women who are on the front lines? Speak with them. Learn from them. Understand from them what makes the players happy, sad, angry, stressed, hostile, furious, upset, depressed, etc…etc… etc…
Take a secret poll of every wife/girlfriend to find out what the true number of domestic violence in the NFL is. A confidential ballot in which no one will ever know who you are. Just a yes or no. Have you ever been the victim of domestic violence? No need to put a name down. Just a yes or no. Let’s find out how serious this issue is because you know damn well there are a lot of women of the NFL who are not reporting some of the abuse they take.
Then work with the players to understand why some are the way they are and treat those who need help. Yes, football is a violent sport on the field. But the violence has to end on the field. It can’t be taken home.
Goodell is all about policy. He even appointed a new four-person panel consisting of all women to oversee new policies. My 5-year old might be intelligent enough to come up with a policy/punishment for players who commit domestic violence and child abuse. It’s not hard.
Hey you, the one arrested and charged with a violent crime. You are not playing anymore until your case is resolved and if you are found guilty you are done. There. Finished.
So now do what matters. Bring in the wives, work with them. Let them teach you what makes these men tick. Learn how to fix the problem not just administer the punishment. I’m sure the majority of the women would love the opportunity to help. Because they can make a difference.
Don’t wait for the next domestic violence case in the NFL to turn deadly. Dig deep and find out how big the problem you really have is and then work to fix it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and this too, will take time. NFL owners, you see one side of your players, but the wives and girlfriends see all the sides. Let them help you help them.