Congressional report on Dan Snyder and the Commanders raises the question: Why can’t the NFL be better for women?

If you’ve paid any attention to the NFL in the last few years other than the “start or sit” columns from fantasy football experts and the final scores, you know the league has a problem with how it treats women.

Women who work for the league itself, women who work for individual teams in a more professional capacity, and women who work in more frontline roles as cheerleaders.

It turns out that the problem is a feature, not a bug.

The congressional investigation into Dan Snyder and the workplace of Washington commanders not only confirmed the stories of dozens of women who bravely came forward in recent years to speak out about the sexist, harmful and demeaning environment in which they endured in the name of trying to fulfill their dreams of working on a professional sports team . It has also been confirmed that everything the NFL or Commissioner Roger Goodell says about concern for the safety and well-being of women is a lie.

Some of us already knew this (it’s me, I’m one of those few) because their actions betrayed empty words long ago.

But on page 77 of the 79-page report released last Thursday, there is a truth for all to see:

“Instead of directly addressing issues of workplace misconduct, the NFL has shifted the responsibility to its clubs. The League’s Personal Conduct Policy sets forth standards of conduct that apply to all league and club employees and owners.

“However, according to an internal document obtained by the Committee that clarifies the reporting requirements under this policy, “workplace sexual harassment complaints,” including “non-physical sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation,” are not considered “conduct that impairs or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL, NFL clubs or NFL personnel in accordance with the NFL Personal Conduct Policy and instead instructs clubs to do so internally.”

In other words, the extreme ignorance of the mistreatment of dozens of women in Washington, D.C., has never been an issue in league circles because the NFL, according to an internal document that congressional investigators found, has essentially codified that it’s detrimental to league.

Dan Snyder faced a new round of scrutiny over his commanders’ property after Congress released a report on his team’s toxic working environment. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, file)

Why can’t NFL be better?

The NFL helped bury Snyder’s dirty deeds because he feels the same way about female employees as Snyder and his subordinates: if they – gasp! — have the audacity to work for a league office or one of its member clubs, they deserve what they get. They shouldn’t expect to be treated like a piece of raw meat thrown into a den of hungry wolves. This may interest you : PA Cheerleader Believed Shot Dead By Teen BF. And if so, then suck, Iris. He sees no problem with this type of behavior.

This helps explain why a February report by The New York Times highlighting numerous instances of alleged mistreatment of women at the NFL’s gleaming New York headquarters never really caused a stir.

It’s gotten to the point where Goodell and the NFL, supposedly obsessed with optics, don’t even try to clean up the public relations mess anymore.

They can look at their rankings, they can see how much money they get from sponsors, and they can see that they haven’t paid the public penalty for countless negative headlines, from denigrating Colin Kaepernick to using vile racing normalization practices in evaluating the brain injuries of retired players to seemingly endless stream of Snyder problems. As long as profits are increasing, there is no reason to do better. To be better.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary and no clear reason to feel that way, the little part of me that still tries to be optimistic knows that the NFL has the potential to lead to a complete change in many areas of American life. The league has so much cultural capital, so much stash, that if it cared, if it didn’t block the oligarchs who only care about themselves and amass wealth that no one should have or could ever spend, it could be at the forefront of rights issues citizens, flexing their power to create real change.

Instead of bowing to a vocal minority of hardcore fans and banning a black quarterback who drew attention to the scourge of black citizens being killed in the streets by state agents, she could have supported and promoted significant legislation to curb such violence, perhaps S. 492, the Ending Qualified Immunity Act , introduced in the Senate last year by Senator Ed Markey (D, Mass.).

Rather than simply getting the PSA to encourage fans to vote, it could stop Arizona’s damaging voter suppression laws from being passed, threatening to pull Glendale’s upcoming Super Bowl LVII. Goodell’s predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, had the backbone to do so in 1991, when the league won the Super Bowl from Arizona over opposition to the state’s enactment of Martin Luther King Day.

Instead of annually amending and consistently ignoring the spirit of the Rooney Rule, a rule that has become such a joke to the landlord class that there are now exactly as many Black head coaches – three – as there were when it was formed 19 years ago, the League could actively work against its anti -black bias and become a national leader in hiring a diverse, inclusive workforce, from the coaching ranks to the front office.

Instead of largely turning a blind eye to Snyder’s rude, boyish workplace and actively helping him hide the full extent of his toxicity from the public, it can be said with certainty that behavior as it has been displayed in Washington for years is unacceptable and they set out clear guidelines on how to conduct business in league and team environments.

Between fantasy football and the rise of legalized gambling, the NFL would not suffer financially if it had done the right thing and led the way on these issues. This would be a significant reversal for the staunchly conservative homeowner class, but again, we’re trying to hold on to a bit of optimism.

Had the NFL led, much of America might have followed suit.

The days of seeing corporations as a sense of civic duty are apparently over, if they ever were. But that doesn’t change the fact that the NFL can be a force for good. For positive changes.

Instead, Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones was on the radio in his team’s market last week complaining about the congressional investigation into Snyder and the commanders, making an issue that shouldn’t be partisan – workplace treatment of workers – in another Democrat vs Democrat. republican debate.

The women who work in team offices, the women who work in the NFL offices, the women who cheer for one of the league’s 32 teams, all deserve more than a league that makes pledges of their physical, emotional and mental well-being in the quest to do their thing. job.

They deserve better than a league that hides behind internal memos giving tacit permission to mistreat workers, empty platitudes about its commitment to providing jobs “free of harassment and discrimination,” and allies itself with objectively awful people like Snyder instead women who deserve an apology and accountability.

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What is the importance of Washington’s commanders? The team played as the Washington Football Team for two seasons before changing its name to the Commanders in 2022. Washington won the 1937 and 1942 NFL championship games and Super Bowls XVII, XXII, and XXVI.

Why are the Washington Commanders being investigated?

DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced a lawsuit Thursday against Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, the team, and the NFL, alleging they colluded to defraud DC residents over an NFL investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and allegations of sexual assault .

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