Jerry Jones Keeping Eye On How NFL Handles Kareem Hunt Case
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said he is "keeping a very close eye" on how the NFL is handling the Kareem Hunt situation, and he has a "keen interest in how that is playing out," according to Jori Epstein of USA TODAY. Jones said, "Everyone has no tolerance for domestic abuse. ... The truth is, to get to be a part of the NFL and a part of the perception of the NFL, you have to give up some of the rights you'd have if maybe you weren't a part of the NFL. In other words, you're held to a higher standard because of the visibility involved." Epstein noted the Hunt situation is similar to what Jones encountered with former DE Greg Hardy and RB Ezekiel Elliott, with Jones "deciding in both instances to advocate for the Pro Bowl players." Jones "declined comment" when asked whether the Redskins' decision to sign LB Reuben Foster "hurt the league image" (USATODAY.com, 12/4).
TOO BIG TO FAIL: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes unless it is a "bad PR look, or there is video leaked by a third party, the NFL doesn't care about domestic violence because we have not given it a reason to do so." The NFL is a "private business whose main function is to make money, which it is exceptional at doing," because its "customers are junkies for its product." The latest incident with Hunt shows the "NFL Boys Club made up by the owners is doing just fine." The fans and media "are the problem." Engel: "We consume this junk food called NFL football at such a gluttonous rate that that league can do whatever it wants" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/5). In Austin, Kirk Bohls writes the NFL should "truly be ashamed of itself" for how it handled the Hunt situation. The league "had better get this issue right" when it comes to domestic violence. After "botching the anthem controversy, the NFL should be more accountable and transparent and put in the necessary protocol with stronger punishments if it's truly serious about its public stance against domestic violence" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 12/5). In N.Y., Jane McManus asks why the league keeps "making the same mistakes?" The NFL is "trying to do too much here." The front office "can't control the owners because that's not how the chain of command works." The league "needs to cede some of the disciplinary authority to an independent arbiter." The NFLPA should "get on board because these incidents reflect poorly on players who don't deserve that stain" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/5).
PAR FOR THE COURSE? In Boston, Jessica Heslam writes the Hunt situation is "all par for the course with the NFL, which has a bad history of failing to hold players accountable for abusing women" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/5). In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck writes everything that has "dragged the NFL into the harsh glare of controversy over the past few years is interconnected." Schmuck: "We live in a professional sports world where your second chances depend on whether you can generate revenue for the league or are likely to endanger it" (BALTIMORE SUN, 12/5).In Houston, Jenny Dial Creech wrote if people "expect the NFL to do a better job handling these issues, we need to continue to keep them in the forefront" (HOUSTONCHRONICLE.com, 12/4). A N.Y. POST editorial states that the NFL should "consider how much longer fans will keep watching if their support is 'paying the salary of an abuser'" (N.Y. POST, 12/5).
ONE AND DONE: In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes there should be "no tolerance" for any NFLer who is involved in domestic violence. Canepa: "You're no longer wanted in the National Football League." Domestic violence is "more pronounced" in the NFL, which is the "most visible among our games." But domestic violence "happens in all sports, at every level, and it should be treated the same." As it is, players have been "getting away with crimes and misdemeanors since fame lifted so many of them above the law" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/5).
HANDS ARE TIED: NFL.com's Judy Battista said the league did not acquire the video of Hunt's incident because it has "no power to compel people to cooperate." Battista said, "They can't compel people to talk to them, they can't compel somebody to give them a videotape, so they're boxed in. There are serious constraints to what the investigation can accomplish. That is sort of the problem they have with doing their own investigations" ("Inside the NFL," Showtime, 12/4).