Ban sexist NFL from the UK

It is fair to say it has not ben a good couple of weeks for America’s National Football League (NFL). Four different players – Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Roy McDonald and Jonathan Dwyer – face allegations of domestic abuse and a fifth – Adrian Peterson – faces allegations of hitting a four-year-old child. Some might say that is just an unlucky coincidence but they would be wrong. Since current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came into office in September 2006 there have been 56 cases of domestic abuse in the NFL. And what tough punishments have been dished out by Goodell in that time?. Answer: The 56 cases have been hit with a ban of 13 games between them. This does not include Rice who has been suspended indefinitely. One would think Goodell doesn’t give a toss about domestic violence but it gets worse. A video was released earlier this month of Rice abusing his wife his wife in an elevator. It has been revealed that this video was sent to the NFL in April – which if true suggests a cover up. Also Bill Simmons has been suspended from ESPN for calling Goodell ” a liar” Question: Why has ESPN suspended him? If what he said is not true Goodell could sue him. I just think the establishment are trying to turn the US into North Korea by not allowing criticism of Goodell. But as it is unlikely Goodell will read this I can say that Roger Goodell is a sexist scumbag who should be sacked from his £23.6 million a year job and replaced by Condoleezza Rice with the latter given a mandate to do to the NFL what Margaret Thatcher did to 1970s Britain – go through it like a dose of salts and impose sweeping changes.
For the fact is the whole culture of American football is sexist. Any sport that forces women to play it in underwear – the Legends Football League*(LFL) and forces its cheerleaders to take the “jiggle test” as members of the Buffalo Jills (yuck!) cheerleading squad have said – has serious problems. And the sport is an obstacle to gender equality in another way. This is because of the “money-eating monster” that is college football. Colleges are supposed to provide equal opportunities for women in sport under Title IX legislation. But as Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano point out (in “Playing With the Boys page 247) most US colleges don’t spend as much on all women’s sport combined as they do on football. As they further point out men are victims of this too. Colleges cut minority male sports and blame it on Title IX whereas the fact is as the book points out “They should blame football”. Quite why the NFL should have federal funding for what is in effect their minor leagues is a mystery. The law should insist that all colleges should spend the same money on women’s sport as they do on men’s. And if that forces college football to face a dose of George Osbourne style austerity – or even better forces its abolition – then so be it.
As a Brit what really concerns me is that the NFL also pollutes my own country. There is a NFL match in London tomorrow – Oakland v Miami – and two others during the season. There is even talk of an NFL franchise coming to London. That is totally unacceptable. We have more than enough problems with sexism in our own sport without importing an even more sexist sport from abroad. And if that is not bad enough the LFL is coming to Manchester next year. What is the UK Government doing about this? They should be telling the NFL that unless it cleans up its act – by sacking Goodell and introducing a minimum five-year ban for domestic violence as well as closing down the LFL which should not be allowed to exist at all never mind come to the UK – it will not be allowed to stage games here or even be on UK TV. (any UK fan who wants to watch it could still watch it online). The NFL is wallowing in a pile of sexist sewage. Until it cleans itself up it should have no place in the UK or on UK TV screens.
*This League used to be called the “Lingerie Football League” which is a truer reflection of what it is. it probably changed its name to try to con people.

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