09/19/14 by Rennie Detore
The NFL truly screwed up the Ray Rice situation.
Between lost videos or packages arriving (or not arriving) at NFL headquarters to a clueless commissioner claiming he had never seen footage that you would assume someone of his ilk would have been privy too, the National Football League and its propensity for indecision, inconsistency and head scratching decisions is starting to crack.
The once seemingly untouchable and nearly impervious sports league is starting to see the error of its ways and is coming to the realization that it has a huge problem on its hands.
For those of you who believe that "problem" has to do with Rice, Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers or Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals, all of whom have been in the headlines for domestic violence in one form or another, you are sorely mistaken.
The real issue the NFL and its bumbling commissioner Roger Goodell is their lack of discipline and consistency that has led to these highly publicized off the field issues is starting to irk the one audience the NFL cares about the most.
From Pepsi to Anheuser Busch, the heavy hitters that pay plenty to have their brands plastered on NFL broadcasts around the world are starting to rethink their partnership with the now reeling football league. Now, let's get one thing straight: the NFL and its ratings still remain more than just strong but rather exceptional. Advertisers see those ratings and use them as a barometer to determine how much to spend.
Simple enough, right? But the NFL and its ineptness recently as it relates to punishments or players going off the proverbial deep end is complicating their once smooth sailing that was the almighty advertising dollar.
In case you're just tuning in, Rice, the star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was suspended indefinitely from the NFL and released by the Ravens after a video tape emerged of him hitting his girlfriend in an elevator a few months ago. Before the video tape inside the elevator emerged, the NFL slapped Rice on the wrist with a paltry and pathetic two game suspension, even though Rice admitted to hitting his girlfriend in the elevator.
The tape was relatively a moot point given that everyone sort of, kind of already knew what happened in the elevator. Seeing it was apparently enough for the NFL to realize that they didn't handle the situation correctly from the start. To make matters worse, sources reported that the NFL had the ability to watch the video game months ago and some even said the tape was at the NFL offices, but no one in power, namely Goodell, claimed to see the tape until TMZ, the online news outlet, made it available.
To make matters worse, Hardy and Dwyer also have been involved in domestic disputes recently, leaving fans, the general public and advertisers wondering if the NFL is now out of control.
What is truly sad about the situation is the NFL and the real powers that be behind the league most likely assumed that they could bury the Rice situation even after they flubbed it badly because they're the NFL and that's what this powerful entity can do if it so chooses. The recent string of domestic violence cases, and the Adrian Peterson child abuse issue and story on top of it all, is just too much for even the NFL to ignore.
And with that, the league seems to want to dish out heavy doses of punishment, along with owners and coaches alike trying to do the same. You have to wonder, however, how revenue from advertising plays into this suddenly stern hand the NFL is trying to wield.
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