Roger Goodell, Kabuki journalism and #StandYourGround

I rarely criticize people for overthinking. I mean, this is #Merica. How often do I get a chance? This nation has its problems, but we’re not prone to overthinking.

Still, every once in a while we do wander further down the rabbit hole than is necessary. Take this whole fire Roger Goodell thing. Should he be fired because he lied? Well, if that’s proven, sure. Should he be fired for presiding over an inept operation? Maybe – if that video was in the building and he didn’t know, then that’s a problem.

But it’s really simpler than that. Roger Goodell should be fired for his initial decision to only suspend Ray Rice for two games. Period. Everything else is distraction.

It’s like the whole Clarence Thomas hearing debacle. Should he have been rejected for the Supreme Court because he harassed Anita Hill? Duh. But it was actually much simpler and the Hill case only got into the spotlight because the Senate is a bunch of corrupt asswaffles. During questioning, before all hell broke loose, he was asked his thoughts on Roe v. Wade. His answer? He hadn’t really thought about it.

Ummm. ‘Scuse me? The single most controversial and divisive judicial decision of our era and you haven’t thought about it? That means one of two things. Either you’re a fucking liar or you’re a fucking moron. Both of those merit a resounding no vote. He should have been unanimously rejected on the spot.

Same with Goodell.

CBS’ Norah O’Donnell got good reviews for her interview with The Commish the other day. She was tough, she asked the hard questions, yadda yadda bullshit. Yeah, that probably looked like journalism to a nation that thinks Katie Couric is a reporter, but rest assured, that venue and that media personality were selected to convey the appearance of serious journalism without the danger of actual journalism occurring. It was cleverly calculated and elegantly executed kabuki, and your intelligence was being insulted whether you realized it or not.

Know what would have made for better journalism? Real journalism? Goodell could have gone on The Daily Show. They could have sought out the chance to be interviewed by John Oliver. Or Keith Olbermann. Or – here’s an idea – invite Jeremy Paxman out of retirement. He’s not even American, which would have assured objectivity.

Hard questions? Bitch, please. Here’s the goddamned hard question he should have been asked.

Commissioner, I’d like you to paint me a picture. Let’s assume for a second that you didn’t actually see the video. You suspended Ray Rice for two games based on your understanding of what happened in that elevator. I’d like for you to look at the camera and tell America, in detail, exactly what you think happened. Describe for us what kind of domestic abuse leaves a healthy woman unconscious, but is mild enough that it warrants half as many games as accidentally ingesting a legal over-the-counter cold medication.

I guess I should put a question mark in there somewhere, huh?

I have a hard time keeping up with the stories these last few days because they change every five minutes, but I think at one point the line was that Rice slapped her or pushed her and she hit her head. Or something.

Was the thinking that there are degrees of domestic abuse? You know, he only slapped her once. Or he didn’t her that hard. Or she was trying to hit him and, you know, #StandYourGround?

Know what? I’ve pushed people. I’ve been slapped. And not once did anybody end up unconscious.

Commissioner, here are two dolls. Using the big muscular one to represent Rice and the small thin one to represent Janay, will you show us the idea in your thick motherfucking head of how the hell TWO MOTHERFUCKING PISSANT GAMES WORTH OF SUSPENSION LEAVES A HEALTHY WOMAN STONE COLD UNCONSCIOUS?! WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?

It may turn out that Goodell saw the videotape and is lying about it. Or not. It may turn out that somebody in the league office had the tape and kept it from him. Or the tape may prove to be a hoax.

Doesn’t matter. Goodell should have been fired the same day he handed down that embarrassing two-game suspension. And all the drama now over what did he know and when did he know is distracting us from the fundamental facts.

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One thought on “Roger Goodell, Kabuki journalism and #StandYourGround”

  1. All the comparisons of the NFL to a plantation economy are apt, including the one that notes that all the plantations are owned by old white guys, for whom smoking dope is worth a one year ban and beating up women is worth two games.

    One of the unintended and interesting side effects of this has been to draw out the media (Stephen Smith,) the management of the NFL (Baltimore front office) and other athletes (Mayweather, George) on the topic, and what we’ve learned is that slapping around your woman is considered no big deal. Got to keep them in their place, you know?

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