As I watched my Pittsburgh Steelers get thumped by Ray Rice’s former team, the Baltimore Ravens, last Thursday night, I was again shocked by the NFL’s hypocrisy—a violent act is only criminal when it affects its brand and product.
In recent years the NFL has made a deliberate and thorough attempt to penalize unbridled acts of violence that threaten the well-being of its image and players.
In Thursday’s game, yellow, penalty flags saturated the field when a Steelers’ defensive player floored a defenseless receiver for the Ravens. The guilty party will be fined, while players throughout the league are reminded of what constitutes unacceptable play.
For the NFL, protecting the defenseless from unnecessary harm and acts of aggression only applies to the gridiron. Elevators, living rooms and other areas of domestic life are out-of-bounds and not subject to review.