Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bullying scandal & Michael Sam

In light of Sam coming out this week, and the NFL awaiting the bullying scandal outcome, I think its safe to say that changes *will be* coming to the locker room. Certainly the time is right.

Don't hand me the crap about it being a place where men can be men...that ship has sailed, and we're in a different place where teams and players will have to adjust their style.

It's on the NFL and the teams to provide a reasonable work environment, which is safe and comfortable to all who inhabit it.... and the stereotypical macho locker room isn't it.  Yeah, they can still have fun and trash talk, but sexist talk, homophobia, and slurs like that have no place -  I have to believe this will become a corporate workplace just like the ones we inhabit (though I'm sure a little more leeway will be given). 

With the announcement and the impending report, The NFL just changed yet again - the scandal was simply the "tip of the iceberg."

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6 comments

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Sorry folks. Who Cares!!!!!???? I am sick of hearing about this not stop on every channel in sports and the news. What about courage from others? Examples of young people who stand up for whats right or helps others. No, just this crap

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My point here is not about his "courage" or anything of the sort. The coverage is breathless because this was one of the few remaining bastions of masculinity or whatever. But you are right, its tiring.

What struck me, and why I commented on it, is that the NFL is now being forced to change. For better? For worse? Who knows? But its corporate nature comes more into focus. What's next? compliance people? ombudspeople?

It further illustrates the point that this is not about the game so much anymore. Back in the 80s it was all about the game. Now its all about the company and and its viability. And the entertainment aspect (which includes football) is secondary.

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These corporate sports machines are slowly destroying the game and themselves. At some point, fans will lose their interest as the teams' personalities become impersonal and as costs continue to rise. It will be interesting to see this all evolve.

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When I heard that Sam came out, my first thought was "Wow, good for you!"

My second thought was the players aren't going to care less. Their generation has plenty of friends and acquaintances who are out. Their high schools and colleges have LGBT clubs. This is nothing new for them.

My third thought is the bigger concern. How will older coaches, owners and personnel staff react? How will they perceive their locker rooms being effected by a gay player as a team member?

This generation needs to get educated and quickly. The NFL should do a symposium as soon as possible because more players will come out now and they should. The older generation needs to understand that this is not a sexual preference and the attraction to members of the same sex is not a choice. It just is. And like any other work environment, the employee will either focus on task or get another job.

There will not be any issues created by Sam. He has too much riding on this for not only his own success but also that of the LGBT community. Whether he wants it or not, he has become a historical figure.

The only question that remains is which team wants to join him.

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Well said Carl, I don't think players are really going to care regarding gay players. The only downside I see at all is you are going to have a some distraction as the media will be asking about it in press conferences since he is the first openly saying it. I am guessing it will be old news after a couple weeks. A lot of people thought the same thing about Manti Te'O and I don't think he was a distraction for his team. The bullying scandal is a whole different beast. Ross was either very smart (put the NFL in bed with him)or very stupid(gave up control over what everyone gets to know) for bringing in the NFL right away. Most people are viewing this as only a Miami Dolphins thing however this is very precarious from a league standpoint. The big issue as more and more information comes out is that Martin was far from innocent himself and so far all that happened is players (he felt) were mean to him and calling him names. I have not seen anything like having him held down and beat on with soap bars lol. Think about this from a legal standpoint. Randy Starks was actually sexually assaulted in the Pittsburg game.(a pretty severe crime in most places of society) and all the NFL did was fine the player that did it. So far unless there is a lot worse that is being hidden it sounds like Martin was only called names much less severe than what was done to Starks. If the NFL hammers the Dolphins because the players were too mean to Martin, there are literally opening the door to hundreds of lawsuits. Think of every player that in the last 2-3 years that tried out for a team that may have been called names or asked to pay for a dinner. If that said player is now out of the league it is going to be pretty tempting for them to sue the NFL or the team they played for. If J Martin is setting the standard that any player was called names or has texts from a teammate talking smack is entitled to big money, get ready for the attorneys to call every player out of the league asking if they felt there were treated the same way. Unless there is a lot of details that come out of Martin have much more awful stuff done to him, I don't think the NFL has any choice but to put a long report full of a lot of non specific information and basically says in summary " we were not able to get enough specific information to be come to any conclusions" Then they will put out a strict code of conduct to the teams and punt J Martin back into Ross's court to settle in private. The delay in report is making sure it is written in a fashion to make that exact thing happen. We will see if I am right :P

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I think no matter what team drafts Sam, they all will get questioned by their media members:
Why didn't you draft him?
How would or do you feel about having Sam in your locker room?
The media could actually ask, who do you think is a closeted player? Don't worry I want quote you.