The NFL Clusterf*ck: Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Abuse

Warning: the following post contains disturbing images and video.


Can you tell another human being how to live their life? Do you have the right? What makes a good person and a bad person?

For the past few weeks, the NFL (National Football League) has made headlines. Regrettably, football has not been involved. First came the Ray Rice scandal. For those of you who do not know, Baltimore Ravens receiver Ray Rice entered an elevator with his then-fiancé (they are now married), Janay. Then, this happened:

No charges were filed and the NFL suspended Rice for two games. Then, that video was released and Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Rice has recently appealed his suspension, and his wife Janay continues to insist that the media has blown the entire thing out of proportion.

Actual Instagram response from Rice’s wife.

Due to their reluctant and forced handling of the issue, the NFL became swamped in scandal, with many feeling that Commissioner Roger Goodell must resign for his involvement in attempting to swipe what happened under the rug. For the record: the Ray Rice scandal was not the only one going on at this point, simply the one involving the most famous player. For a few weeks, Rice was the name on everyone’s lips in regards to the NFL.

Then Adrian Peterson happened.

Peterson was arrested and charged for beating his four year old son with a tree branch. Peterson also allegedly stuffed leaves into the child’s mouth to prevent him from screaming. Below are the photos taken ONE WEEK after the beating took place (I do not have to say ‘alleged’ as Peterson has already admitted to doing it).

abuseToday, Peterson as been activated by the Minnesota Vikings. He is expected to fully participate and play, while receiving his complete salary.


I felt I could not say any of that while being my usual smug, cheeky self. Again, I will mention that these are not the only two problem players in the NFL. These scandals have raised a lot of questions. Many have to do with morality and social responsibility.

“Don’t tell me how to live my life!”

This is a philosophy that many individuals in “free” countries adhere to. Indeed, what is the point of freedom without the ability to choose what kind of life to lead? If we are to go by the words and opinions of Janay and Ray Rice, than the world (through the media) has intruded on their privacy and their right to live. To hear Janay speak, theirs is a complicated love that only they can understand, and the rest of the world is rushing to ruin what a good thing they have.

Adrian Peterson is trying to discipline his child. At least that’s what people like Charles Barkley and many others think. Don’t tell him how to raise his kid. Don’t tell Ray and Janay how to live their lives.


I had one professor in my time at University who was brilliant. He gave me an essential lesson that I will not forget and that I believe applies here: Some opinions are wrong. Is everyone entitled to a point of view – absolutely. Is that point of view immediately valid and equal to all others – not a chance in hell. In this era of understanding, I feel that society is in danger of losing a crucial truth. Sometimes people are full of sh*t.

There is NO defense for people like Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. I am not saying they are monsters, but I am saying that they each committed a crime that is indefensible. In what scenario is it okay for an NFL athlete to strike an unarmed woman? Or for a father to brutally beat his child with a tree branch? There is none. The discussion ends there. For any saying, “it is a cultural difference, or they probably learned it from their parents”. Please listen to Cris Carter below:

He is absolutely right. Never once in history has “well that’s how it used to be done” been a valid reason to prevent enlightenment. Progress means change and it means growth and we have overall grown as a society. Any individuals out there who use their upbringing as an excuse for their actions – that is the immature response of a child. We live in an age with actual unlimited access to education. It is called the internet and its greatest power is its ability to collect and pool all human knowledge. Does it pool other crap, sure – but the fact remains.

No one forced Rice or Peterson to behave that way. They made the decision, the decision to continue vicious cycles that probably began much earlier in their lives. That decision was wrong, and both of them were wrong for doing it. Their athletic ability should not and does not matter. Ray Rice is a miserable excuse for a partner and Adrian Peterson has a hell of a lot to learn about being a father.

As for Janay, it is a tragic truth that many abuse victims justify their mistreatment. She is wrong as well. Her opinion and view of her relationship come off as nothing more than a horrible fantasy that the rest of the world recognizes for the farce it is.

People have the right to ruin their own lives. That right ends the moment another person becomes involved. Adrian Peterson didn’t hurt himself – he savagely beat a four year old boy. Ray Rice punched his wife in the face. I sincerely hope that that relationship does not create children.

People have the right to ruin their own lives, until another person becomes involved. Fun fact about society is that everyone is interconnected. No one has the right to waste a life because it always matters to someone else. Actions like these are not defensible. This is not a debate on morality. The human race is sadly gifted at self-justification.

No one likes being blamed and everyone out there can come up with an excuse for practically anything. As a species, we have been able to justify such atrocities as slavery, the Holocaust, and repressing human rights. People do not want to be labeled as “bad people.” The horrible truth is that bad people do not exist. Neither do good people. There are just people, and people have the choice to do what they will. In their mind, that action will always be good (if not immediately than after much rationalization and self-justification).

But this is the 21st century. People need to grow up and be held accountable for their actions. Not every scenario has two valid sides. Abuse is wrong. Period.

Let’s hope the NFL does not let profits stand in the way of humanity. Actually no, let’s not hope for that. Let’s hold people responsible for their actions. Let’s stop rationalizing and take a stand. We’re human beings – let’s act like it.

"I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury." That's his mugshot, by the way.
“I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury.”
That’s his mugshot, by the way.

Silly Things Written on the Internet: 1 "Super Cute" Lesbian Wedding Idea

This entire post is written in response to this BuzzFeed article. As always, I mean no criticism to the author. Flo Perry is a creative woman who has written some cool and interesting things to read. I suggest you check out her work. That said, everyone writes things that can come off as… silly.

Weddings are incredible ordeals. They are a staggering show of commitment. Two individuals agree to share their lives together. More than that, they fulfill a contractual agreement stating that they will share their lives together. Damn, that idea is terrifyingly adult. With all that said, I feel that labeling any aspect of a wedding as ‘super cute’ is to use the complete set of wrong language. It would be on par with labeling a successful open-heart surgery as ‘fantastically adorable.’

Look at how precious their matching outfits are!
Look at how precious their matching outfits are!

All joking aside, that’s a nitpick. Weddings are beautiful occasions and words like cute, beautiful, adorable – these positive terms should be tossed around freely.

Now here is my one suggestion, the bizarre omission that I felt justified an article response.

1. Do Something that Embodies Your Relationship

A lot of these 23 suggestions have to do with celebrating being gay. To me, this makes as little sense as this following suggestion for interracial marriage: have half the aisle wear white and the other half wear black. I do not mean to undermine the enormous struggle that gays have gone/are still going through in beginning to achieve marital equality. It is a victory that is not yet complete in these United States.


To reduce a relationship to something as non-character oriented as sexuality strikes me as insulting. I would not like it if someone came up to me and offered this suggestion: “so is everyone on your side going to dress like a guy, and everyone on her side dress like a girl?”

I’m hammering in the point because I feel like it is a big one.

If both people involved are human rights’ activists then yes, by all means – have a wedding that celebrates the fantastic achievement that is gay marriage. To say that “you’re gay, I bet you love rainbow cake on your wedding!” is stereotyping.

Do something to celebrate your relationship, not your sexuality (unless of course, those two ideas do not conflict). If you’re Star Wars geeks – have a Star Wars themed wedding. If you met while scuba diving on shipwrecks – use that theme. Judging people as extensions of their sexuality is not a way to know them. It is a way to create laughable caricatures such as this:

I may be wrong on this issue. I may be downplaying the incredible solidarity and courage that the Gay Pride movement brings to people. If that is the case: I do apologize. This just struck me as a very bizarre article to write. Again, I do not mean to single out Flo Perry, I do not believe that she meant this to be insulting or anything negative at all. This article, to me, represents a greater problem when viewing people. Judge a person by the content of their character… not by their sexuality (or race, gender – anything of this nature). To do anything less appears kind of, well – silly.

Why would lesbians want roller-derby flower girls more than anyone else?
Why would lesbians want roller-derby flower girls more than anyone else?

Politically Correct: The Issue of the Washington Redskins

Yesterday, as I was reading through the news avenues of the inter-webs, a story concerning an issue at Concordia University came to my attention. The issue was this: censoring song lyrics in regards to political correctness. The song lyrics in question weren’t… well, if you were a white male they were fine! There were two pieces, a thoroughly researched impartial view of the evidence and an attention-grabbing, opinion-driven editorial. As is always the case: more people were talking about the editorial (I love how much the average person fact-checks!). Anyways, I begin with this to address a larger issue closer to home: the Washington Redskins.

For those out there who don’t know, the Washington Redskins are a professional football (NFL) team that operates out of Washington D.C. They were founded in 1932 (back then known as the Boston Braves) and have been around ever since. So what’s the issue? Well, if the name hasn’t already tipped you off, have a look at the logo:


Or the mascot:


The Washington Redskins are not unique. They represent one of several professional sports teams (looking at you, Cleveland Indians) with, frankly, poor choice in their name. For the sake of today’s article: let’s focus on Washington. What’s the big deal? Who cares if they are called the Redskins? Indeed a very recent poll (2013) showed that 79% of Americans felt that the name was fine and that Washington should keep it. Well if the majority thinks its the right thing to do than who cares?

There are worse logos.
There are worse logos.

This is why I hate the term “political correctness”, more often than not it can be written as “what group(s) are okay to make fun of, what groups are not?” Let’s try some name suggestions: the Delaware Dykes, The Hampton Housewives, The Philadelphia Faggots, The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (this one is real), and the Nebraska Negroes. Were those names offensive: yep. Okay, new question: why the f*ck is the name “Washington Redskins” okay?

The term “redskin” began as a racial slur against Native Americans back when European settlers were still colonizing America. It enjoyed it’s height of use in the 18th and 19th centuries before fading away (no longer “politically correct”). At it’s base, the word is a racial slur (red skin) but was also used denote the “primitive” dress and culture of the Native Americans. Essentially this word is a two-for-two, debasing someone based on what they look like and how they live (aren’t words great?).

I guess the best way to put it is this: if you were walking home alone one night and saw a stranger of Native American descent walking toward you, would you feel comfortable calling out: “How’s it going, redskin?”

Apparently, 79% of Americans think it’s okay. Let’s count some numbers. Right now there are roughly 313.9 million people in the United States. That’s estimated, the last full census was conducted in 2000. Of that number, 2.8% of the entire population identified as “American Indian”. They couldn’t influence a poll if they tried.


I’m going to guess that most of that 79% were not “American Indians”. Makes a bit more sense now, doesn’t it? Do I personally (as a white male) really find the word “redskin” offensive to me. No. It doesn’t deliver any kind of impact. However, that whole wonderful notion of progress dictates that, for the greater societal good, I look beyond my own apathy to empathize with other people (some of whom do not share my cultural background). This is what needs to happen with the Washington Redskins.

Human beings do not like to change traditions, even if the tradition is horrible. Take a look at slavery, one of the worst crimes in humanity: 625,000 people (in the United States alone) had to die in order to lose that tradition. That’s not to say that slavery didn’t exist for over 200 years (again, just in the U.S.) before people finally acted. Was it worth it: yeah, racism still exists but slavery is gone. That’s progress.

Luckily, there is no institution remaining that is as overtly inhuman as slavery. However, people are still human. A lot of us are way too okay (and self-justifying) about treating others in really unfair and cruel ways. I include myself in this bashing, so I’m trying not to preach.


My point is this: nothing will be lost in changing the Washington Redskins’ name. At the end of the day who cares, it is the name of a freaking football team. So IF there is even a chance that it might be offending say, a whole group of people, why not change it? Think of the merchandising opportunities (you greedy bastards). Think of what one small gesture like that might mean to the remaining Native American community (sorry for the whole ‘murdering your culture thing’, I guess we can change our sports teams’ names. You know we spoil you). Think of it like this: “tradition” or “the way its always been” is one of the poorest, most self-justifying excuses there is for: we don’t want to change, even if it bothers other people.

For the record: I don’t think the Washington Redskins organization is racist or bigoted in any way. The driving emotion of this issue is apathy. Who cares if a few Native Americans write letters and complain? The vast majority of the non-Native American population doesn’t mind.

Let’s be more than “politically correct” on this one.