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In the NFL: Money Talks, Sponsors Walk, and Then People Listen
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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The circle of life for the Beautiful People rolls on much differently than it does for the rest of us.

For the common folk, the wheel of life screeches to a complete halt, gets us in front of the tire, and runs us smooth over. For them, a bad situation happens and the tire slows to about 10 mph, pauses at the stop sign, and tears on down the road.

And why? We’re poor, at least comparatively speaking. No? You have a nice savings account and a healthy 401K? Well, then you aren’t an athlete. Just ask the NFL.

Many people are chatting about Ray Rice and his sorry self, Napoleon complex, and cowardly left hook crushing his fiancée's jaw because that’s what a real man does. However, life focused on domestic abuse began before that. There’s Greg Hardy of Carolina Panthers fame, who choked his girlfriend at a party on a couch full of assault rifles. I guess when you go to parties in the NFL, people don’t check their coats at the door but their AK-47s. Ray McDonald of the 49ers didn’t want to be outdone, so he slapped around his fiancée…who was pregnant.

The NFL has done nothing much but skirt the issue, obfuscate the talking points, lie to the public, and allow the players to do just about anything. And then, someone found video holding everyone accountable. Suddenly, the NFL had to pay attention and the aforementioned losers had to pay more than a fine.

Ray McDonald is looking at possible bench time. Greg Hardy was benched. Ray Rice is gone. And then Adrian Peterson beat his children — not spanked, corrected, punished, or even whooped, but beat two four-year-old boys bad enough to show welts, cuts, and bruises a week later. Sure, the Vikings are reluctant in doing anything. The NFL certainly isn’t touching it. So the sponsors did. 

And now people are paying attention. Why? Sponsors...you know, the people the NFL really cares about (because it dang sure ain't the fans). 

The Vikings' main sponsor, Radisson, removed its logo from the press conference area until further notice. Visa is not happy with the Vikings. Anheuser-Busch has expressed its deep disappointment in the NFL. Even the Governor of Minnesota has chimed in. And now, just now, the NFL is starting to listen. That's not answer to PR; that's kowtowing to financial pressure. That's offensive. That's wrong. That's careless. 

That's America. 

   

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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