Although my favorite subject to talk about is Disney there are times when a topic comes up that I feel compelled to discuss. Today is one of those times.
I am an NFL football fan. I live for Sundays (and Thursday and Monday nights too), and I am disgusted with what is happening in Miami and the way the NFL players are responding. For those of you who may be unaware, a starter on the Miami Dolphins left the team as a result of more than one and a half years of being bullied by other teammates. The leader of the bullies has since been suspended, pending investigation. The NFL has hired an independent attorney to lead the investigation into this matter. Everyone seems to be doing the right thing, yes? No!
Rather than stand up for and behind the victim, players in the Miami locker room, and many across the NFL, are instead supporting and praising the accused bully, who has a long history of bullying behavior, unsportsmanlike conduct and assault, just to name a few. There are recordings of the bully threatening the victim, reports of extortion and threats of assaulting family members yet still, the bully is being praised. When the victim approached the team about what he was experiencing, team management advised him to punch the bully. I can’t make this stuff up. Even parents of children who play football with my son have made comments to the extent that the victim is too sensitive for an NFL locker room. Sure there are two sides to every story but the information that has been released, which is not in dispute, is enough for this mom to want to scream from the rooftops.
What message is this sending our children? Every day in this country children are bullied and too many of them are taking their own lives because of the behavior they are subjected to every day. Children look up to NFL players and coaches. These men have a responsibility to, at the very least, be aware of how their responses and actions may look to outsiders, especially children. Parents have an obligation to teach their children that this behavior isn’t acceptable anywhere, even in an NFL locker room. There are no winners here. The victim, who made a brave choice and did the right thing by coming forward, will most likely never play football again because other players resent him for talking out of school. The bully, regardless of his punishment, will never understand how inappropriate, hurtful and unacceptable his behavior is because other players are standing by his side, patting him on the back and telling him how great he is. The only positive thing that can come from this situation is for the NFL to say loud and clear that bullying is never okay regardless of where it takes place or what the situation is and it will NOT be tolerated in its locker rooms. Anything less is completely unacceptable.
Minnie Loves Football image from MiceInBlack shop on www.etsy.com
Bullying image from www.makewav.es