It's been hard to get as excited about football these days.
A glaring spotlight has been cast on the NFL's long and troubling history of domestic abuse after a video of the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée (now wife) in the face and knocking her unconscious was made public. Before the video was leaked online, he was suspended for two games. After there was public outcry, he was dropped from the Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the NFL (he plans to appeal).
Yesterday, SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm, a self-proclaimed lifelong football fan and mother of three young daughters, was nearly brought to tears as she demanded answers in a segment called, “NFL Crisis Management.”
Here is a transcript of Storm’s entire speech:
“I spent this week answering seemingly impossible questions about the league’s biggest stars. ‘Mom, why did he do that? Why isn’t he in jail? Why didn’t he get fired?’ And yesterday, ‘Why don’t they even have control of their own players?’ So here’s a question: what does all of this mean for the future? What does it mean for female fans, whose dollars are so coveted by the NFL, who make up an estimated 45 percent of the NFL’s fanbase?
“Are we as parents supposed to compartmentalize everything that’s happening? Are we supposed to simply separate a violent game on the field from violent acts off the field? If we do, what message does that send? So here are some more questions: what exactly does zero tolerance mean for the NFL? What does it mean to the coaches, the GMs, the owners? What about the NFL [Players Association]? Will the NFL, in all its power, take the lead on the issue of domestic violence?
“In the NFL, apparently seeing is believing. If the NFL and the Ravens had to see that video to be moved to significant action, then shouldn’t those who support the league demand the same, to see action, to see change, before believing?”
She ends with a final question: “What exactly does the NFL stand for?”