On NFL Football,

Player Thuggery,

the Commisioner and Owners, and

Too Much Looking the Other Way

( "What would Mickey do?" )

(2014 Sep blog post)

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This page on REALLY Bad Behavior in the NFL
(and too much toleration of it)


In September 2014, the NFL (National Football League) and the NFL Commissioner --- Roger Goodell --- were being heavily covered in the news because a video surfaced of the football player, Ray Rice (of the Baltimore Ravens), knocking out his girl-friend (and fiancee) in an elevator (in Feb 2014) and then dragging her (half-way) out of the elevator.

It was a pretty shocking video.

The incident happened in early 2014.

About 9 months had passed, and Goodell (and team owners) had not done much to impress on Ray Rice the inappropriateness (to put it mildly) of his behavior.

But this was just one incident in a series of incidents stretching back for more than a decade --- incidents such as

  • players using and dealing hard drugs, including cocaine and heroin

  • players getting into bar fights, including bar gun-fights

  • at least one player ( Rae Carruth, 1999) contracted to have his pregnant girl friend killed

  • at least one player ( Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers, 2014) aimed a gun at a pregnant girl friend

    (Go back over several decades. There are no doubt quite a few more incidents like that.)

  • at least one player ( Ray McDonald, San Francisco 49ers, 2014) beat up a pregnant girl friend

    (Go back over several decades. There are no doubt quite a few more similar cases --- like A.J. Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings in 2013, Robert Reynolds of the Tennessee Titans in 2006, Rod Smith of the Denver Broncos in 2000.)

  • at least one player ( Plaxico Burress ) carried a gun into a bar and shot himself in the leg.

    (The team owners should be teaching their players to put the safety catch on.)

  • Every week during football season, you can see, after tackles, a tackler getting up and stomping on the tackled player's leg/back/neck/head after the play is over.

      (Really, guys. You think that isn't obvious to millions of people seeing a close-up aerial view of the play.

      Just because you TRY to make it look like you are accidentally stepping on the player as you get up, does not make it less obvious.

      In all the cases that I have seen, you have plenty of room to get up without walking across the player like they are a doormat.

      I predict that the players who do this sort of fellow-player-bashing are going to be future undesirable citizens of the USA.)

  • and there are many more examples of thug-like bad behavior, which I may add to this list as I am reminded of them.

    In case I do not return to update this page, here are a few WEB SEARCHES that you can use to provide updates.

OK, I get it. These are not open-and-shut cases.

Almost any married person understands the strains that a marriage can go through.

In fact, we even see instances of minor battery in sit-coms on TV such as 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and 'Married with Children'.

An angry spouse 'bats' the other spouse.

In fact, in many cases, the wife/girl-friend of the football player who assaulted her does not want the courts to become involved.

BUT ... it is appalling to me the number of thug-like incidents that are allowed to go on without restraint under the amazingly lenient eyes of Roger Goodell (the NFL commissioner) and the team owners.

Of course, a lot of this behavior is also exhibited at the college level.

We often see cases of college players being suspended from a team, either permanently or for part of a season.

Sometimes the reason is reported.

But there are a disturbing number of times that players are terminated, suspended, or 'disciplined' but the reasons are not made public.

In the case of terminations, one is left to imagine that the offense must have been quite serious for coaches and college administrators to go to that level of discipline.

But it seems that the thuggery reaches new heights when it gets to the NFL.

Maybe it seems that way ('new heights') because some of us tend to think it is quite outrageous that players being paid multiple millions of dollars per year are acting like they are living in a ghetto neighborhood frequented by drive-by shootings, gang violence, dealing of hard drugs, and other extremely anti-social behavior --- and being 'part of the problem'.

This brings up the issue that many of these players may have grown up in such an environment --- and did not have very good role models in their fathers or mothers.

They may have grown up with much more hatred than love in their lives.

It would be difficult to un-do the amount of bad thinking and bad decision-making that such an environment would engender --- and the NFL is not a professional mental therapy organization.

But, at the very least, the NFL can make it clear to those players that they need to clean up their act.

Two (maybe three) strikes and they are out (pitching in a baseball term here).

The situation from a Mickey viewpoint

In this same time period (2014 Sep), I saw an ad for a Mickey statue in a Redskins football outfit (image at the top of this page).

I like Mickey, in all his forms (figurines, stuffed animal, image on hats, cups, mouse pads, etc.)

He makes me smile.

He cheers me up.

I could not help but think that Mickey (if he were a football player in the NFL) would not be performing any of the thug-like acts listed above.

I could not help thinking that Mickey would not abuse wife or kids.

Nor would he engage in injury-threatening bad behavior toward his fellow players --- especially after a play is whistled dead.

Furthermore, if Mickey were the NFL commissioner (or one of the team owners), he would not be repeatedly 'turning his head the other way' and, week-after-week-and-year-after-year, ignoring the bad behavior.

When Goodell and the owners are not ignoring the extremely bad behavior, they are handing out only a 'slap on the wrist' --- along with continuing to award enormous salaries that seem to just say 'what you did was really not so bad, in fact it was OK'.

I like to think that Mickey would not do this if he were Goodell (the NFL commissioner).

I think Mickey would establish some clear guidelines for the bad behaviors that would mean

  • ONE strike and you are out
    (for shooting anyone)

  • TWO strikes and you are out
    (for hard-drug dealing or violent spouse abuse)

    Holding a gun to the head of a spouse qualifies as violence.)

  • THREE strikes and you are out
    (for clearly unnecessary roughness on players)

Put items like these in every football player contract so that their responsibilities on and off the field are clear from the very beginning of their career in the NFL.


In summary, I think Roger Goodell (and any future NFL commissioner) should ask himself "What would Mickey do?".

And the team owners should too.

The unabated thuggery (link to origins of the word) is why I do not like to watch football.

I watch a few snippets of football during the football season --- and sometimes the Superbowl at the end of the season.

No more than that.

I cannot stand to watch more.

It appears that at least 10-percent of the players are thugs --- and the team owners (and the NFL commissioner) are co-conspirators in their thuggery.

    This reminds me of the Catholic Church hierarchy allowing pedophile priests to continue their harmful behavior year-after-year and century-after-century.

Given that '10-percent-or-more' scenario, football just seems like a disgusting spectacle to me.

These are not people who deserve to be citizens of the United States.

After 3 strikes, most of them should be deported to an Aleutian island --- to live together in dis-harmony.

Bottom of this page on blog topic
NFL Player Thuggery,
the Commissioner and Owners,
--- and What-Would-Mickey-Do

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Page history :

Page was posted 2014 Sep 26.

Page was changed 2017 Feb 26.
(Changed a dead link on a Roger Goodell Wikipedia page and added some links.)

Page was changed 2019 Apr 29.
(Added css and javascript to try to handle text-size for smartphones, esp. in portrait orientation.)

Page was changed 2019 Jul 25.
(Minor reformatting of text, for readability.)