If a player enters an elevator with his girlfriend, punches her in the face, then knocks her out and drags her by the hair out into a hotel corridor, the NFL considers that the incident merits a two-game suspension, as in the case of Ray Rice, running back for the Baltimore Ravens. But if your team confabulates to deflate balls during football games, this merits a four-game suspension if you are Tom Brady.
If you are Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings and take a switch to your 4-year old boy, and whip him in his arms, legs and buttocks until he bleeds, the NFL will bench you for a season with a scolding letter (“you have shown no meaningful remorse for your conduct”), and then reinstate you. But if you play for the New England Patriots and do not participate willingly in NFL investigations, your team will be fined $1M and future draft picks.
If you make the above comparisons, you will be told that they are not valid. After all, what are a beaten woman and an abused child when compared to the “integrity” of the game of football, and the sense of “fair play” that must exist so we can place our bets and play our fantasy leagues? We can summon infinite amounts of righteous indignation when our games are threatened. (more…)