Two Short and Simple Lessons from the NFL Domestic Violence Scandal
There are two simple things we might learn from the recent National Footall Leage players domestic violence scandal. For those of you not aware of it, one of the more popular players in the league was caught on video tape knocking his wife unconscious.
The player, having been cut from the team and banned by the league, is petitioning for reinstatement.
Another NFL player and former league Most Valuable Player has recently been arrested for abusing his young son by “spanking” him with a tree branch.
Ironically, this same player lost a young son when he was beaten to death by the mother’s boyfriend.
What can we learn from all this?
1) Could it be that it is best for society and its institutions to refrain from supporting—especially with multi-million dollar salaries—any employee who is convicted of (or where there is great evidence before conviction) abusing a wife, a child, or anyone?
Does it make any sense to keep employing someone as an example of it being OK to abuse anyone? Whether the athletes like it or not, they are role models for children…and for a lot of adults, too.
If the player accused of child abuse is found not-guilty in court, then it gets tricky. With the wife abuse, the evidence is on video tape for anyone to see on YouTube.
If we end up making this about laws and expensive legal maneuvers that get these guys off the hook and playing football again, it will serve as an open invitation for more abuse, mostly of women and children.
2) Very recent news suggests strongly that the player/accused wife abuser’s (girlfriend at the time) team and the football league had access to the video of the abuse, (captured on an elevator security camera) months before it was made public. Only when it was made public did the league act to ban the player.
What we might learn from this is something that we can see every day if we are willing to pay attention: Virtually all of our biggest institutions are much more concerned about their wealth, income and reputation than they are with being honest about things that matter. They are not in business to serve but to grow their financial status and influence.
This mirrors the function of the imaginary ego. It does the opposite of what it pretends to do. Most people are simply not willing to face this. It’s too scary for them because they do not trust their power to move beyond the known, even when the known is so loaded with suffering and a sense of lack.
On the path to our destined harmony in this world, we learn to trust our power and to respond more powerfully to the challenges of life. Sometimes, the most empowering and loving response is to love those who abuse, manipulate, deceive and disrespect while removing all other attention and support from them.
That is a central aspect of the work I have been guided to teach. No fighting or resistance is required. The courageous move is often disengagement. Why? Because those who respond in this way will be harshly judged by some for dropping the battle.
And dropping the battle is what we have come into this life to do.
Could it be that the largest part of the path for us all is about getting fed up: Fed up with accepting false, anemic, temporary and often destructive substitutes for love and power. Fed up with supporting and identifying with people, groups and institutions that abuse as they pretend to serve? Fed up with pretending that some imaginary being called ego defines who we are.
Maybe for most of us, getting fed up is what it takes to seriously entertain new ways of responding to life.
A new, online resource, the Simple Awakening Tools Program, will start its first group on Monday, October 6. It is for people who are fed up with maintaining a status quo that sucks. No dogma, no religious approach, no New Age bullshit. For an overview, see Is This For You?