At this point, I raise a practical question not unlike Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, when he timidly wondered whether or not they were playing Stonehenge that night.
Is the NFL’s domestic violence policy… uh… “working?”
I mean, I’m just asking if there’s any kind of metric on success here? Is it player games suspended per incident? Are we looking for less actual domestic violence, or just more players suspended for it Because the league has now lowered the burden of proof to somewhere just above: “Did she Instagram it?”
The Zeke Elliot case is a confusing mess. He’s a dimwitted diva who, clearly, doesn’t get it. And she’s someone who lets a soon-to-be NFL star pay her rent and co-sign for a car. Oh, and she also allegedly tried to coerce her friend to lie to the police about one of the incidents, but hey, the league said they had “no reason” not to believe her.
Zeke probably did it, or at least did some of it. But I’m still sorta stuck on this notion that without pretty solid proof, the league should swallow hard and take a pass on these kinds of cases.
And while I’m delighted that Jerrah’s ginger lap-poodle, the man he supported so robustly during Deflategate, has come home to shit on the new carpet with this one, it angers me to no end that the next team/player/fanbase Goodell decides to fuck over just to earn some “attaboys” at his next cocktail party, is just around the corner.
All I know is this: nobody who watches and consumes NFL football was beating the drum for last year’s most electrifying rookie to get suspended for almost half the season. Nobody. So who is the league trying to please? The nearly 40% of the fanbase who are women, I presume. But do they have any hard evidence that women as a demographic tuned out when Ray Rice was not suspended long enough for knocking out his wife, but then came flooding back when was effectively banished for life?
As they say, where’s the data? And do they know how many women who root for the Cowboys are even more pissed than Jerrah about this one? Let’s say you claw back an additional 4% of women fans because you are now cracking down on domestic violence, but you lose 8% of your men because your “investigations” are like Monty Python witch trials. Are you still “winning?”
Oh right. Never mind. This is not about the dollars for the NFL. No, it’s a moral issue. The pressing issue of our time. And it’s been that way ever since… hmm.. ever since.. OH YEAH… ever since Goodell was made to look like a doofus in the wake of the Ray Rice affair. Got it.
Last year, the NFL saw an otherwise un-explained 9% decline in TV ratings across all prime time offerings. Numerous polling entities with established credentials, cited the Colin Kaepernick-led anthem protests as the primary culprit.
And yet the league still doesn’t believe that! It was the election! Bad matchups! Blowouts! So now they are convinced that murky he-said/she-said’s like this incident involving Zeke Elliott and his girlfriend of 3 months are a threat to the Shield and it’s empire?
If this is all it takes to get a player suspended, then every team should enlist a shadow army of instagram models to act like heat seeking missiles at star players on rival teams in their division.
Trust me, there would be no shortage of them lining up for the mission.
This was one such “Instagram Model” who couldn’t resist snapchatting her star sexual conquest when she bedded Zeke allegedly behind Mrs. Thompson’s back. If indeed Zeke was physically violent with Thompson in the aftermath, you can imagine the conversation that started it.
Of course this doesn’t exonerate Zeke laying a finger on her, but at least now we’re honest about who and what we are talking about. These are two highly immature millennials: him: fueled by fame, ego and testosterone and her: hoping for a slice of that fame and status no matter how steep the price. That the NFL is now in the business of trying to sort out these matters – sometimes over a year after the fact – is madness, if you ask me.
Any NFL girlfriend now with a bruise and a grudge is in one helluva a strong negotiating position on her man.
Even the simple in this case becomes muddled if you read the police reports and try to match them up with the press release. The Columbus, Ohio prosecutor’s office said they didn’t go any further because of “conflicting and inconsistent information across all incidents, resulting in concern regarding the sufficiency of the evidence to support the filing of criminal charges.”
But the NFL said, that the prosecutor’s office told THEM (the NFL), “we never had reason not to believe her.” Well…. which one is it? And can we get the Columbus DA on the phone and get him/her on the record.
At the very least, the league should realize how much they have now incentivized lying for women in rocky relationships with NFL players. There’s now a huge financial incentive to threaten a player with lies about abuse to keep a player paying that rent, or to buy you a car. And if they refuse, there’s a vindictive incentive for them to then turn around and lie to the NFL and burn down 1/3rd of a player’s annual paycheck.
Back when Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes burned down Andre Rison’s mansion, would Rison have been hailed as a “victim and survivor” of domestic abuse, or given a 6-game suspension under the presumption that “he must have started it?”
If Jay-Z were a linebacker for the Giants, would Goodell hire Exponent to analyze whether his grabbing of Beyonce’s sister’s leg constituted a purely defensive move in that elevator, or rather the opening move in a MMA-style takedown?
So many questions…..
Elliott and his camp said the woman got into a bar fight at 2 a.m. around the time of the alleged abuse, and surmised her bruises and scrapes could have come from that. If true, are there witnesses? Is there security camera footage?
Either way, the NFL said we’re not buying it – sorta like they didn’t buy the ideal gas law either – and do you have any other theories as to how she got those injuries?
At this point, if you are Zeke Elliot, in the middle of a nasty breakup with a girlfriend of only 3 months, to whom you have co-signed for a vehicle, and paid her rent, what are you supposed to tell the NFL? What story, exactly, would make the NFL say: “Hmmm…. we never thought about that. Case closed!”
Even though Elliott will appeal, and even though his lawyer said compelling evidence will be presented that shows there was no such abuse, there’s only so far Elliott would be advised to press this matter even were he truly innocent of all accusations.
She’s got a story to tell, plenty of sympathetic media outlets waiting to hear it, and ugly photos to back it up. Unless Elliott has video of somebody ELSE doing this to her, or perhaps a copy of a powerpoint presentation laying out the “set up” there’s nothing more to be gained. He’s got thousands of NFL yards in front of him to chew up, touchdowns to score, jerseys to sell, and Salvation Army kettles to jump into. Now, if he can just keep his hands to himself on parade floats.
In the meantime, I go back to my original question: “We’re doin’ good on this stuff, right Roger!? Tell me we’re doin’ good!”
And while you are at it, tell me what round to draft Zeke in my fantasy league? If you could, that would be a huge help.