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THE ROBLES RANT

Photo: Genessa Gutzait

Dear NFL, MLB, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball,

Stop trying to inject feigned morality into your sports, stop trying to legislate phony morality rules into your game, stop trying to lord yourselves as moral authorities. 

Stop.

In recent years, the NFL and MLB in particular have attempted to take the lead as moral authorities, particularly in ridding domestic violence from their games. 

They have failed. While the organizations have concocted “no tolerance” policies against domestic abuse, with every case that lands on their tables, they must contend with their contrived morality and the profit motive. Simply put, marketable players aren’t held to the same standards as mediocre ones. It’s why former Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy was given another chance in Dallas, after being found guilty of domestic violence, when he assaulted and threatened to kill his former girlfriend; or why the Houston Astros traded for and activated the talented young pitcher Roberto Osuna, after his 75-game suspension following an arrest on an assault charge; all the while Ray Rice, the aging running back out of his prime, was never able to land on his feet after the widely publicized video of him knocking out his girlfriend leaked.

College sports are no better. Head coaches and universities constantly preach integrity to their student athletes—and are certainly quick to punish those who don’t follow suit—but often fail to live up to their own message.

Most recently, Ohio State football head coach, Urban Meyer, was suspended three games by the university after lying about having knowledge of domestic abuse allegations against his former assistant coach, Zach Smith. Meyer’s lenient punishment is an insult to everything college athletics, and Meyer himself, purportedly stand for. 

If OSU or the NCAA were actually interested in making a change to the power dynamics responsible for protecting predators and abusers, Meyer would be looking for a new job outside of college athletics. Instead, Meyer, the man who said: “If you willfully violate the law or the rule or you lie to the NCAA, you can never coach again,”  will have a punishment less severe than players selling autographs. 

Until these billion-dollar institutions can put their money where their mouth is, we must treat them as a reflection of their actions: cowards and hypocrites. 

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