In the wake of the consecutive blunders from the NFL over the past few weeks, many parents both moms and dads alike are questioning how good of a role model is the NFL. This organization prides itself on having the biggest, fastest, strongest players who will then almost literally destroy their own bodies in hopes of the win and ultimately an opportunity to win the Superbowl.
Before I continue, I am a die hard New Orleans Saints fan and will always be one. I enjoy football as a sport and I am constantly memorized by the ability of the players to do what they do.
How many of us have seen this image or something similar?
Our nation is split up into 32 divisions all based upon the NFL’s teams. From a business side, I can understand and respect the overall image of each team. They really do a lot of positive things in all of the communities from getting kids outside to exercise and play to mentoring programs or having charities that are connected directly to a particular team. The teams also require that the players are dressed in suit and tie when representing the team for post game interviews and such. You get the idea. The “image” of the team is that of respect and responsibility.
The players on the other hand are human and are not shaped so rigidly. Brett Favre, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick are just a few of the NFL player that have graced the headlines for “less than favorable” reasons. These players are not the unknown faces of the teams but rather are the more popular players who can impact our kids the most.
Of course, these players are accomplished athletes but how many of the NFL”s players are also great role models? The teams select their most popular players and have them become the outreach connection to the community but as recent events have shown us the vetting process does not seem to be to extensive until someone beats a child, or their wife or “allegedly” rape a woman or women. When this happens the management puts up the veil of blame. Teams who have made these players their ambassadors have either dropped them as soon as the issue arises or stuck by them even when they should have let them go.
The players who have been caught, they have to deal with the consequences of their actions but more focus should be put on the players who uphold the morals of society and are actual role models that our kids can look up too. NFL players as well as other professional players should be more than just highly paid athletes who can do amazing things in their sports. They need to be aware of how influential they are outside of their professions. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is a father, husband and community supporter and a good role model and any person who appreciates football knows this regardless of your team loyalties. That is what we need more of. Men who are not only “men” but are man enough to be morally grounded too!
For those who have not had the chance to react or understand what has happened to Adrian Peterson, Phenom Running back for the Minnesota Vikings has been charged with felony child abuse and the NFL and his team has restricted him from playing until his legal matters are worked out.
“The 4-year-old is by a different mother than the alleged victim in the Montgomery County case, in which Peterson is charged with felony injury to a child. In that case, Peterson admits to repeatedly striking the boy with a tree branch or “switch,” but has maintained he did not intend to harm the child, and was using his judgment as a parent to discipline his son.” (USA TODAY)
The fact that I will no longer be able to have him in my fantasy league hurts but I don’t want to take away from the primary issue here, parental discipline. I’m conflicted on this issue overall because I have experienced discipline in a wide variety of ways. Earlier this year I wrote about Bringing Down the Law and again I feel that this particular instance is not worthy of a felony charge in my opinion. I have experienced a Willow switch as a punishment. I am willing to wager that any of my readers who have grown up south of the Canadian border has also experienced this particular punishment. (I’m sure my Canadian readers may have also experienced it but you get the point.) This is a form of discipline much like a belt or hand.
TMZ Sports released these photos but I collected them from IJREVIEW.
Look at this objectively. First, why was he being punished? I have looked but I don’t believe there has been a statement that explains what his son did to spark any punishment. If someone has it please send me an email or comment because I don’t like to be misinformed. If he called Adrian a “poopy head” then the punishment does not fit the crime but if his son punched his baby sister or something (I don’t know the full family tree of Adrian Peterson or his kids.) then I could see something like this happening. As a personal survivor of various forms of child abuse in my life, the wounds that are depicted above are relatively minor compared to child abuse images that we normally connect child abuse with.
My issue overall comes down to this, at what point do parents have the right to discipline their own kids without having to be concerned with child abuse charges. If your kid comes to school looking like he got in a fight with a Honey Badger or something then obviously there should be concern for the child. Basically, child abuse needs to be looked at with a serious eye and by a professional who can “grade” the level of alleged abuse. Furthermore, felony charges need to be reserved for appropriate offenses.
This brings me back around to the issue of the day, Adrian Peterson. Is he a father who was disciplining his son and maybe went over the line of discipline or was he within his rights of raising his son and disciplining him according to his values? Voice your opinions!!