NFL under fire for players

Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
September 17, 2014

The National Football League is constantly in the news, but not for good reasons recently. Four players in particular have made a new name for themselves for their actions off of the field: Josh Gordon, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray Rice. These issues have caused people to call for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to resign as he has lost control of his players and neglects punishment.

Josh Gordon is a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns that violated the NFL substance abuse policy when he tested positive for marijuana earlier this year. This is his fourth time violating the league’s policy and he received a year’s suspension. His urine sample showed he was one nanogram per milliliter, 16 ng/ml, over the league’s threshold of 15 ng/ml. Will he learn his lesson, or continue to make a mockery of the NFL and their protocols?

The Minnesota Vikings inactivated Adrian Peterson, one of the best players in the NFL today, this week after being indicted by a grand jury for child abuse. He was disciplining his son with a “switch” that he made out of a tree branch he grabbed. Peterson has always been a fan favorite, but his recent actions have brought questions about both he and the league’s credibility. The NFL has not intervened with the Viking’s decision to reactivate him for next week’s contest. However, a second report has been published saying Peterson abused a second child. The story explains that he disciplined his child for cursing at another sibling. The discipline left a scar above his eye, which was questioned by the mother. Details are still being determined, but it looks as though Peterson’s actions will cost him both fan appreciation and possibly jail time.

Greg Hardy is a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers that is going to court over a domestic abuse charge. Hardy was convicted of assaulting a woman and communicating threats on Jul. 15 when he beat his former girlfriend and threatened to kill her. The league has not taken any actions against Hardy as they are waiting for the results of his trial. Because of this, Hardy will continue to play unless the Panthers decide to suspend him.

Ray Rice has been a dynamic running back in the NFL for years. He has become a hometown hero for the Baltimore Ravens. Recently though, he has fallen from his high horse. Over the summer, there were allegations of Ray Rice assaulting his fiancé in a hotel elevator in Atlantic City. Pictures were shown and a video caught the entire incident. The Ravens released Rice during the peak of this debacle, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. He is appealing this suspension with the hopes of signing another contract so his NFL career doesn’t come to an end.

With all of these events going on, people have begun wondering why commissioner Roger Goodell has done so little. He has not stepped forward help prevent these issues with players, or make an attempt to help right the wrongs that have occurred. It was leaked that Goodell received video of Rice’s assault of his now wife and he did not suspend him immediately. Rather, he waited to see how the public reacted before making a decision after the Ravens released him.

The NFL has not had a beneficial start to the 2014 season. Many big name players have disgraced the league and brought unnecessary distractions. Only time will tell, but hopefully the season can return to previous forms and be entertaining on the field, rather than off of it.

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