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  • Greg Collier 3:32 pm on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Denver Broncos, , Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, scandal, sexual assault, , University of Tennessee, USA Today   

    Is Peyton Manning Benefitting from a news media’s double standard? 

    newsmediaIt’s tough to dislike Peyton Manning.

    In the NFL, Manning has been one of the types of players that make the league look good. On the field, he may be an aggressive and focused player but he’s also a good sport who rarely loses his cool. Off the field, he’s soft-spoken and mild-mannered, a poster child for the clean-cut All-American image that any sports team would happily put into the public spotlight and any sponsor would be comfortable with in a TV commercial.

    But now, as the Denver Broncos quarterback ponders retirement at the top of his professional game, an old story is surfacing about about a younger Peyton, a 20-year-old quarterback at the University of Tennessee who dropped his pants and pushed his genitals into the face of a female trainer who was examining his foot in a training room. He would later say that he was mooning another athlete — but the incident led to a settlement that kept the story quiet. After all, he was a star quarterback on the rise and his school or family didn’t want to see his image tarnished.

    In 2003, years before Twitter or Facebook would help stories spread across the Internet quickly, the incident surfaced again after Manning mentioned it in his and his father’s autobiography. USA Today picked up the details and published a story about it back then – but the story didn’t really gain any traction with any other news outlets.

    Now, just days after the Super Bowl, the incident came to light again when the New York Daily News published a story that declared that Manning’s “squeaky clean image was built on lies.” Granted, that’s a little sensationalistic – but you would think that, with a headline like that, the national sports media would dig into the story and bring it to light. You would think that people across Twitter and Facebook would be sharing this story and chiming in the way they did with Tom Brady’s Deflategate scandal or Ray Rice’s infamous elevator video.

    Instead, they’re talking about Donald Trump and leaving Peyton Manning alone.

    Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith recently chimed in to blame the news media for intentionally turning a blind eye on Peyton’s sexual scandal story. The media was all over Deflategate, as well as the Ray Rice video story. But national media has been slow to come out with their own versions of the story, even though the court documents that offer details of the incident are readily available.

    Personally, I’m torn about Peyton’s actions from 20 years ago, Part of me feels like the incident was an isolated one that involved poor judgement by a young athlete. Should we really be acting like judge and jury about an incident that occurred so long ago? Isn’t it better to move on and judge Peyton by the legacy he’s built during his NFL years?

    In some ways, it feels hypocritical to give Peyton Manning a free pass for something that happened years ago when we as a society are unforgiving of a man like Bill Cosby, who is facing serious allegations about sexual assaults that occurred many years ago. I realize that the allegations against Cosby were far more serious and were not limited to a single incident or person. But what’s the threshold for holding someone responsible for something that happened many years ago? Is it OK to give Peyton a pass when we’re not willing to do that for others?

    There’s no easy answer to this question but it feels like the news media is choosing to answer this question for us. By not reporting the story, by not digging deeper into the incident, by not putting Peyton on the hot seat to address it, the news media is telling the general public that this Peyton Manning scandal isn’t really that big of a deal.

    I’d rather see the news media invest some resources into this story – just as it would with other scandals – and let the public determine its worthiness. If the story resonates with the public, then maybe it’s worth digging in deeper. If the public doesn’t care or otherwise respond to the story, then news editors – who hold the power to determine what people know about and what they don’t – will have an answer to that question.

    Until the media does its job of reporting the news, the general public will never be able to make its own determination about whether Peyton’s squeaky clean image has been tarnished or whether an incident that occurred in the past should stay there.

     
    • sandrea Reynolds 8:50 pm on February 26, 2016 Permalink

      You know the media has to protect that squeaky clean image of that white boy spoiled degenerate.

  • Greg Collier 6:24 am on September 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abuse, Adrian Peterson, , , , Ray Rice, ,   

    NFL Under Fire: What Happens after the Buck Stops? 

    perceptionFor sake of full disclosure, I’m a big fan of NFL football – the rivalries, the loyalty of the fans, the final-second plays that lead to victories and upsets. What I’m not a fan of is the off-the-field behavior that has dominated headlines early in this season.

    In a league as large as the NFL, there’s bound to be a few bad seeds in the bunch. But the gravity of these allegations – domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual assault and more – have put a spotlight on the NFL’s inability to control bad behavior. Sure, the league issued fines and suspensions – but for the most part, those sorts of punishments are just for show. As soon as a player makes a big play on the field, the coaches, the owners, the league – and even the fans – are quick to forgive.

    But as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has learned in recent weeks, there’s no touchdown or interception out there – no matter how dramatic – that is going to give the NFL a free pass on this latest controversy.

    That’s why Goodell, the guy who stands where the buck stops, held a press conference to announce the efforts that he’s taking to… actually, we don’t really know what he’s going to do to make things better. He talked about making mistakes and learning from them. He mentioned something about committees and policies and changes that should be in place by the Super Bowl.

    It’s no wonder that Goodell’s face was splattered across newspaper tabloids with headlines that read: “That’s it?”

    Goodell summoned the press because his old-stand-by actions of issuing meaningless fines and minor suspensions wasn’t enough to make all of this go away. By the time he faced the press, the story had shifted away from the players and their bad behavior. Instead, the public had made Goodell the face of the controversy.

    Goodell missed an opportunity to make things right with that press conference. He could have stepped up and talked about zero tolerance policies and mandatory training programs that were being put into place across the league, effective immediately. Instead, he went on and on about making mistakes and how changes were coming – months from now, once we get to the end of the season and fans start shifting their attention.

    Earlier this year, I chimed in about the controversy surrounding the now-former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling. At the time, I noted that the boss – even if he’s the owner of a professional sports team – always answers to someone. There is no free pass against bad behavior, no matter who you are. Fast forward to today and the Sterling is no longer the owner of the Clippers.

    It kind of makes me wonder if Goodell is next to go.

    Maybe it’s unfair to compare Goodell to Sterling. After all, Sterling let garbage spew from his mouth and then made no apology for it. Goodell, by contrast, hasn’t been videotaped smacking a woman around in an elevator.

    But, in the court of public opinion, is there any difference?

    It’s never good when the boss gets busted spewing racist remarks. But some might say it’s even worse when the boss knows about bad behavior – and then seems to turn a blind-eye to it. You might argue that point with me – but, perception is a real thing. And it definitely matters.

    Let’s be honest. Goodell’s press conference had nothing to do with the off-the-field actions of its players. It had nothing to do with Goodell’s softball response to those actions. No, this press conference was all about Goodell saving his job and saving face for the league.

    Given his handling of the entire situation, it seems that the only way the league can save face on this one is to start thinking about a new commissioner, someone who will get it right when it matters most.

     
    • LadyT 9:20 am on September 23, 2014 Permalink

      Goodell and the NFL should remember another leader that turned a blind eye – Joe Paterno. Too many innocent victims in the name of Football!

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