This issue is not going away for the NFL . . .
While we are disappointed in the rationale of the decision to overturn Ray Rice’s suspension, this has always been about more than one case. This issue is not going away for the NFL.
Despite and because of the repeated fumbles in handling the Rice case, the NFL is at a crossroad. There is much talk of moving forward with bold and effective new policies and programs to change the culture of football. Now, Commissioner Goodell and the NFL franchises must walk the talk. They must dismantle the sexist machine that is the NFL and rebuild it to respect and include women at all levels.
Public service announcements are a great start. But we want and demand more. Specifically, the NFL and its franchises must:
- Respect women’s voices, including cheerleaders, and integrate women into its workforce of executives, coaches, referees and players – and ensure that women of all colors have equal representation at its tables of power;
- Require all of its vendors and advertisers to respect and value women too;
- Be culturally competent, inclusive and transparent – including women, people of color and LGBT people among the architects of all NFL policies and programs – not only those pertaining to violence against women; and
- Further invest in programs that benefit women and will change the culture of sexism within football.