Wednesday, April 21, 2021
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Now it’s Deshaun Watson, but has the NFL learned anything from when it was Ben Roethlisberger?

Nothing much has changed in the NFL from when Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape to now.

Nothing a lot has modified in the NFL from when Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape to now.
Image: Getty Images


Oh, I’ve to maintain going? Fine. Goddamn Google and their search indexing necessities.

The monetary pause for Deshaun Watson has already began. Nike suspended his endorsement deal. So has Beats by Dre. But none of these are outright firings or endings of the relationship. Like we’ve seen far too many occasions earlier than, they, and the Texans, and the league, and no matter different sponsors will look forward to this to all “blow over.” Whenever they really feel the time is correct, or proper sufficient to not get completely slaughtered for it, you’ll see Watson’s title linked with these manufacturers once more. At least, that’s been the highway set out earlier than.

Only one in every of the teams listed above can do one thing about it. And that’s the NFL. We don’t count on them to, they usually virtually definitely gained’t. They’ll maintain hitting the “waiting for all the facts/conducting our own investigation” button till it loses all motion. And all it means is that they’ll have their finger in the wind to determine when sufficient time has handed to make some mealy-mouthed assertion and half-hearted suspension/effective/telling-off. After all, the league will nonetheless be eyeing the cash that Watson is price to them.

The NFL has been right here earlier than. Star quarterback, accused of repeated and revolting sexual assaults. Ben Roethlisberger was even on one in every of the league’s signature franchises. And what did he get? A lowered suspension of 4 video games from six, as a result of he wasn’t accused of flagrantly raping anybody in the meantime, basically. Since then, any protection of Roethlisberger, from at the very least the NFL-associated retailers, has swept all that beneath the rug. He’s gone on to make thousands and thousands extra, and even win one other Super Bowl. Everyone was at the prepared with redemption tales. And for anybody who doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid, these tales have been fairly sickening.

Since Roethlisberger’s suspension in 2010, it’s not like the NFL hasn’t had far too many gamers concerned in sexual assault and home violence. The concept of “punishment,” at the very least as the NFL is anxious (although different entities as effectively), isn’t simply punitive measures in opposition to the offender. It’s presupposed to be a deterrent to others. How’s that figuring out?

I don’t know if Watson was even conscious of Roethlisberger’s punishment and alleged crimes, which, once more, is the fault of the league and those that cowl it. It ought to be a scarlet letter that he carries with him in all places. It was for Michael Vick, regardless that Vick was capable of return to the league after which finally TV work. We at all times heard about the dogfighting ring, although, even on ESPN. Do we hear about the a number of allegations of sexual assault in opposition to Roethlisberger? Almost by no means.

Whether Watson did or didn’t find out about the previous of one other QB, he definitely felt in too highly effective of a place to ever reply for his actions. Based on what these ladies have stated, and the sheer quantity, he had developed a style for it and didn’t see anything flawed. So how’s the NFL going to cease the subsequent one from feeling that method?

Along with the erasure of Roethlisberger’s (and presumably Watson’s) alleged offenses, what of the survivors? Don’t they, or gained’t they, deserve higher than to be merely deleted from reminiscence? They’ve put far an excessive amount of on the line right here for that. Some of their names are on the market, extra names will get out whether or not they need them to or not, and all concerned will cope with traumatizing recollections and threats from the public. It occurs each time. They deserve greater than a token suspension for Watson that in the end prices him nothing and that nobody learns anything from. That doesn’t maintain the subsequent sufferer from changing into so at the palms of an invincible-feeling NFL participant.

It isn’t nearly Watson. It’s about what the league needs to be. We know they don’t actually wish to be anything greater than their very own mint, but they sometimes wish to sustain appearances. What would make folks rise up and spot? A full-season suspension? Lifetime suspension with the risk of reinstatement in a few yr’s time? After a demonstration of actual regret and work? It’s that sort of territory that the NFL has to debate if it actually needs change.

Can they cease each single participant? Probably not. Does that imply they shouldn’t strive? Also most likely not. It’s the identical with each dialogue like this. Fans would rant and rave and discuss equity and never even being convicted of against the law. They additionally wouldn’t go anyplace. Chances are the Texans would nonetheless promote as many tickets as they might have anyway. What sort of assertion would it make to the ladies in the NFL’s fanbase? What would it inform the gamers about their conduct?

The time for bravery is coming for Roger Goodell. But you’ll be able to take one take a look at his face and know that he’s not able to it.

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Updated on April 21, 2021 10:55 pm

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