Maybe something good comes out of all this, which seems very bad right now.
The NFL is not unlike all the other sports. It takes something catastrophic for them to do something to make situations better.
The Ray Rice knockout punch of his wife, accompanied by slaps, curses and spits, has been horrific to watch on video, now knowing actual violence of the blow he delivered.
It has led to a nationwide uproar involving everyone; the NFL, owners, players, fans, the networks, women’s organizations and now Congress. It will lead to stronger sanctions going forward for anyone who hits a woman or child.
It’s no different than the crisis involving concussions, suicides, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It led to significant rule changes, suspensions, fines, and the bitter lawsuit that is till out there, but the NFL will be better in treatment of its players..
It took a steroid scandal that spilled PED juice all over the most sacred record book in the Hall of Fame, which led to outrage, that led to Congressional hearings, that brought us now to every type of drug testing there is in baseball.
It was the Kansas City and Pittsburgh drug trials that brought us testing and sanctions, in the first step to clean up the sports from cocaine, marijuana, LSD and amphetamines.
The tragic death of Tony Gwynn, the affliction of Curt Shilling, will be next up in the battle against tobacco in baseball.
It took horrific head injuries in the NHL to get them to make significant rule changes, first on fighting, then on helmets, then on open ice and along the board hits, to make the games safer and faster.
In pro basketball, violence and fights spilling into the stands, and equipment changes, led to a cut down on cheap shots, player protection on flagrant fouls and better equipment.
In auto racing, the tragedy of the instant death of Indy car driver Dan Wheldon in his airborne car, and the snap of the neck head on crash that killed Dale Earnhardt, brought about constant upgrades in safer equipment, from helmets, to neck restraints, to walls, to aerodynamics, to slower cars, to make the sport better.
And while the rage will carry on against Roger Goodell, what he knew, when he knew it, and how he acted upon it, the NFL will come out of this Ray Rice black eye crisis better, if not by the experience, but by a new standard of conduct.
More than anything, it takes an incident, in any of these sports, to make people step back, take notice, and make changes.