The NFL launched a "social responsibility" team that will help address its massive nightmare of issues with women. Meanwhile, CBS has permanently axed Rihanna, actual survivor of domestic violence, from her plum gig singing the Thursday Night Football theme song.
In an effort to
deal with its embarrassing public relations disaster show that it actually cares about women, the league appointed one of its executives to head a team that includes domestic violence and sex crime experts, according to NBC News:
The initiative — announced as the league faces a public-relations nightmare from the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandals — will be headed by Anna Isaacson, a community affairs vice president.
She will be assisted by three outsiders: Lisa Friel, former head of sex-crimes prosecution for the Manhattan district attorney; Jane Randel, co-founder of NO MORE, an advocacy group focusing on domestic violence and sexual assault; and Rita Smith, the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In a statement Monday, Goodell said Friel will play a key role on the team: looking into allegations of domestic and sexual violence and advising him and his staff on discipline.
So they're going full Law and Order: SVU in their attempt to backpedal in their mishandling of this incident. This is a good program on paper but it's probably one that should have been launched long before the shitshow that was the NFL's original "SEE NO EVIL HEAR NO EVIL DO NO EVIL" response to the original elevator footage of Ray Rice's abuse against Janay Palmer.
And speaking of See No Evil, CBS announced today that it's retooling the theme song for Thursday Night Football to permanently exclude Rihanna, who was once beaten severely enough by Chris Brown that she required medical treatment. The network had cancelled her appearance last Thursday as a one-off attempt to shy away from bad optics during a sensitive PR week for the league, but this morning announced that the changes are permanent.
But it won't matter if they perform a seance and call upon the ghost of Susan B. Anthony to head up their "social responsibility" team until they address the root problems of this issue. This profession—from the fans to the athletes to the top executives making the decisions on how to dole out a punishment—is mired in a mindset which defaults to ignoring violence and abusive behavior as long as it makes the league money and brings the fans victory. It defaults to automatic victim blaming so much so that even after millions of people witnessed the horrifying abuse Rice inflicted on a woman, people still had the brazen audacity to show up at a game wearing his jersey. As much as many of us enjoy this game, it's increasingly impossible to look beyond that.
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