Blitzing the NFL with moral preening

Blitzing the NFL with moral preening

The NFL’s wife-beating, child-abusing troubles, as they continue to deepen, will have at least one feel-good angle: The people it will make feel good are those who get to pronounce upon it, as many already are, expressing shock, moral outrage, dudgeon to the highest power.

Politicians will love it. One can see those stern-faced congressmen taking strong stands against doing violence to women and children—and hoping, while doing so, to make the evening news. Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democratic senator from New York, has already garnered media attention by going on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sept. 14 and floating the idea of congressional hearings. “If the NFL doesn’t police themselves,” she said, “we will be looking more into it.” Ms. Gillibrand is one of 16 female senators who recently sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging a “zero tolerance” policy on domestic violence.

No doubt university psychologists, Ph.D.s aloft, will be happy to appear at the congressional hearings, proposing that the solution to the problem is that standard panacea, more education. Programs will be proposed. Journalists will suggest that domestic violence in the NFL has been useful in highlighting the larger problem of domestic violence throughout the culture. “Everybody,” as Jimmy Durante used to say, “wants to get into the act,” and many politicians, social scientists and social workers will.

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