The explanation is simple. The National Football League has no values, just assorted and unrelated reactions dictated by money, expediency, fear of activist groups, and stupidity.
This was the most recent example:
Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman was flagged after his fourth-quarter interception Sunday in a win over the Browns. He pretended to shoot an arrow from a mimed bow–veteran MLB relief pitcher Fernando Rodney has done this after every save his entire career–and was penalized for the unsportsmanlike foul of ” shooting a bow and arrow,” as announced by the ref. Fox analyst Mike Pereira explained to the TV audience that “Shooting a bow and arrow is just like simulating shooting guns. It’s a foul and it’s not allowed.”
The NFL refused to allow the Dallas Cowboys to commemorate the Dallas officers shot in a Black Lives Matter fueled massacre of police. Then it announced its support of the ridiculous Colin Kaepernick’s grandstanding protest of the National Anthem because, he says, “the United States systematically oppresses African-Americans.” Next, it submits the name of Darren Sharper—one of those oppressed African Americans, by the way— as a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is serving 20 years in prison for drugging and raping women. Now it deems a bow-and-arrow gesture as so offensive to the sport that it requires a major game penalty.
Meanwhile, the league still officially denies that the concussions it routinely inflicts on its players are the cause of their brain damage when they cease to be able to function and slide into depression and dementia in middle age.
Those who continue to support the NFL knowing all of this (you put money in the league’s coffers by just watching the games) are allowing their own values and their children’s to be compromised and corrupted in exchange for a few visceral thrills.
What is the explanation for this?
Jenrry Mejia is a young New York Mets relief pitcher who until recently had a bright future as a star closer and a guaranteed multi-millionaire. Now, entirely on his own initiative, he has become the first player ever banned from baseball for using steroids .
This is not easy, though Mejia did it with ease…and speed. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Mejia was establishing himself as the Mets closer by the end of the 2014 season. But he began the 2015 season with an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a common PED (Performance Enhancing Drug), then, even before completing that punishment, flunked another urine test and earned himself a 162-game suspension a few months later.
Knowing full well that a third positive test would end his career, Mejia tried a different banned steroid, was caught again, and that third strike triggered a lifetime expulsion from major league baseball under the sport’s rules. Nobody has been that reckless and stupid, not even Manny Ramirez (who was caught twice), and Manny’s picture is in the dictionary under “reckless and stupid.” Continue reading
The second Comment of the Day, from prolific commenter Michael R, explores how the Volkswagen plot may have been nourished by industry-crushing over-regulation.
Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, “The VW Scandal: Huge Consequences, Simple Ethics Lessons, Ominous Implications”:
This scandal is worse that you present it. When you look at it, our government encourages such conduct. When you look at what happened, it sure looks like our wonderful Democrats hate the United States and the companies and working Americans. In 1998, the government went after US diesel manufacturers for a less-devious defeat device (it seems that it worked only when the engine was under strain and the emission controls worked at least some of the time during normal operation). They were fined and had to pay for environmental remediation to the tune of $1 billion. The software was not as essential to the running of the engines as VW’s, as the companies were able to make the engines compliant with a software fix.
Frequent commenter Barry Deutsch provides some useful counterweight (as usual) to an Ethics Alarms post, this one regarding fake handicapped flyers in airports. Here is his Comment of the Day, on the recent post, “Miracle Flights”: More Air Travel Cheating”:
“Eh. I’m sure some people do cheat – but I’m also sure that some people who the article implies are cheaters, aren’t doing anything of the sort.
“I’m not usually bothered by the five-minute walk from when I get out of security to my gate in the Portland airport. But standing on the security line is much harder. First of all, it can easily take up to 20 minutes if the airport is crowded, so I’m standing for much longer. And even if it’s only five minutes, standing still (with occasional shuffling) is just much, much harder on me than walking is. My bad knee and heel, normally slight nuisances that I ignore while walking, sometimes scream with pain waiting on line. Continue reading
I wondered about this.
“If you don’t tell anyone that I won a Silver in the Olympic hurdles this summer, there’s 50 bucks in it for you… Deal?”
When I was recovering from a hip replacement, and even before, when it was getting painful to walk, I requested wheel chairs from the airlines when I had to fly. It was wonderful. A nice attendant whisked me in front of the lines and through security, and I was also the first person on the plane. Nobody ever asked me what was the nature of my disability; they just trusted that I wouldn’t engage in such a dastardly act as to fake being hobbled—you know, just like nobody would pretend to be someone else to steal a vote. Never happens—why do anything to check? The system—I mean the wheelchair system, now, not the voting honor system—seemed ripe for abuse to me, but before today, I had never heard of anyone exploiting it.
According to a recent report, a lot of people do. Continue reading
Michael has posted the Comment of the Day regarding my post of Carlos Santana’s criticism of Georgia’s new anti- illegal immigration law. The post expresses my continuing amazement and dismay at the strong support for illegal immigrants in the media and in segments of the public, which I view as both irrational and impossible to defend without recourse to rationalizations and dishonesty. In his comment, Michael is less critical of these defenders as he explores the factors that could make reasonable people oppose efforts to crack down on illegals.
“I can understand why reasonable people are against laws that punish illegal immigrants. I understand your conviction that a law should be either enforced or repealed, but sometimes a law is a bad law that, for whatever reason, legislators cannot or will not turn into a good law (given your frequent posts criticizing Congress, you can understand why some bad laws are not changed). When such a bad law is in place, there is often sympathy for those who break it because reasonable people conclude that, if they were in the same position as those who break the law, they would break the law as well. Continue reading
Legendary rock guitarist Carlos Santana thought it was appropriate to lecture a ballpark full of Atlantans when he was honored with a “Beacon of Change” award at Sunday’s MLB Civil Rights Game at Turner Field. Pronouncing Georgia’s new immigration law just signed into law by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal “anti-American,” the Mexican-born Carlos Santana said,“I represent the human race. The people of Arizona, the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Dear Carlos: If you can't say something responsible about immigration, please just shut up and play.
Later, he told reporters , “This is about fear, that people are going to steal my job. No we ain’t. You don’t clean toilets and clean sheets, stop shucking and jiving.”
Santana is entitled to express his opinion; he is even entitled to express stupid and ignorant opinions. But when he uses his fame, name recognition and a forum given to him as an honor to express a stupid, ignorant and irresponsible opinion, that is intolerable. Continue reading
"Sure, but other than THAT: great night at the theater, right?"
I believe that much of the time the corporate sector is unfairly treated by the media, politicians, and the public. Part of this conviction arises from my experience working at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, directly under its current president when he was a rising young Turk. I dealt with corporate executives every day, and got to see the challenges of big business from their side. Most of the time, they struck me as genuinely concerned about workers, communities, fairness, while believing, of course, that an unfettered private sector was in the economic interest of everyone.
Increasingly, however, I see corporate behavior that is so arrogant, so transparently greedy, so contemptuous of the public’s intelligence, so blatantly, obnoxiously wrong that I wonder if it was all a dream. There was AIG, accepting billions from American taxpayers to save it from the consequences of its own fiduciary crimes, immediately spending some of it on lush retreats and parties for its executives. There were the leaders of Goldman Sachs, telling gape-jawed U.S. Senators that, no, they didn’t see anything unethical about selling their trusted clients investment products so awful that the company made money betting on their failure. There are the U.S. banks, hoarding their money and refusing to refinance mortgages that were unconscionable to begin with, preferring to make the nation’s economic problems worse by foreclosing on families’ homes rather than making a good faith effort to undo a human and social catastrophe that was substantially of their own making.
Now comes the news that Transocean Ltd., owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, has announced that it is giving millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives after “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history.” Which seems perfectly reasonable, unless you want to make a big deal over that one little Gulf oil spill incident last April…you know, the one that began when a Transocean oil rig exploded, killing eleven people including nine Transocean employees. Continue reading