As with every sitting president, Barack Obama is a divisive figure around the United States. He’s also someone, mainly due to the position he holds, that you pay attention to when he talks about the situations of the day.
That’s why Obama’s most recent remarks about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his handling of the Ray Rice situation as well as the league’s disciplinary process are interesting.
The way it (Ray Rice situation) was handled also indicates that the NFL was behind the curve, as a lot of institutions have been behind the curve, in sending a clear message,” President Obama told ESPN Radio on Friday. “You don’t want to be winging it when something like this happens. You want to have clear policies in place. The fact that policies have now been established I think will be helpful in sending a message that there’s no place for that kind of behavior in society, whether it’s in sports or anyplace else.
Obama did indicate that at the very least the Ray Rice situation did set up a national conversation regarding domestic violence.
I think the most prominent example, obviously, was the Ray Rice situation,” Obama said. “I’m so glad we got more awareness about domestic violence. Obviously, the situation that happened in the Rice family was important, but it did lift up awareness that this is a real problem that we have to root out and men have to change their attitudes and their behavior.
Obama is more than right to point out how the Rice situation may have changed societies thought process as it relates to a growing epidemic within American homes. However, the league’s reaction to both the Rice and Adrian Peterson situations continues to be placed under a microscope by individuals that hold a ton of power in this country.
And the disciplinary process, which reared its ugly head again on Friday when Peterson’s suspension was upheld, could end up making it way to the federal courts. It will be interesting to see how the feds handle a labor issue, especially considering it has been against getting involved in the past. If that changes, the NFL itself could be in for a rude awakening.