It has been a pretty sad and horrific couple of weeks for our nations most watched past time. The NFL, which rakes in somewhere between $9-$10 billion dollars (yes, that’s Billion with a B) each year, has had some incredibly bad press lately.
To say that that bad press is deserved would be a massive understatement. The bad press has been more than warranted.
Within the past two weeks there has been one video-proven case of domestic violence, two more alleged cases of domestic violence where both cases appear to be well documented with indictments coming, and there was one case of photo-supported child abuse.
The justified outcry against the NFL has been loud and has come from every place imaginable.
Yet in spite of all of this I don’t think the NFL has a problem.
I’ll say that again to make sure you get it. I don’t think the NFL has a problem.
I think America has a problem.
To simply name these issues as NFL issues would be an act of both injustice and ignorance.
Most research agrees that 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 women will be a victim of domestic violence at least once in their life. For children it is shown to be 1 in 10 with many experts commenting that it is a bit lower because the child’s mom will often step in between the child and the abuser and receives the abuse that was headed the child’s way.
This isn’t an NFL problem.
It’s bigger than that.
It’s a national problem that has exhibited itself in the NFL. (Let’s be clear, it’s really a global problem.)
I suppose there are many steps/actions/forums/discussions that can help alleviate this awful reality of our country.
I want to bring up one, and I’ll bring it up with a few questions.
Where are all the strong yet gentle men who will strongly stand against this garbage while walking gently with people – women, children, and men?
Where’s the voice of male kindness that speaks its own type of strength?
Where are all the godly men – godly in the sense that they are more than willing to put themselves last for the sake of others?
Where are all the non passive men who refuse to let other men use their strength for harm?
Maybe that one deserves a second take so here it is: where are all the non passive men?
Where are the men who realize being physically stronger doesn’t mean winning any and every disagreement?
Maybe I could ask all that simply this way:
Where are the men?
The way of violence and abuse is not the way of a man.
Where are the men?
I think I know where they are.
They are in countless homes, churches, synagogues, neighborhoods, and schools. They are in the grocery store and at the gas station. They are in New York and LA. They are in Alaska and Hawaii. They are found in every possible demographic – age, race, education, and socio economic status.
They are everywhere.
Even in the NFL.
In fact it is my belief that the good guys are far more plentiful than the bad guys.
But I think they are scared. Fearful. Frozen in passivity. Overwhelmed. Fraught with insecurities and doubt.
I want you to wonder with me. I want you to imagine.
What if all those scared, fearful, passive, overwhelmed, insecure and doubt filled men stood up in the midst of all those fears? What if us men would fetch a batch of courage and acted in spite of the fear? What if all the good guys decided that standing for that which is right is more important than sitting for fear? What if we lived like Jesus, which means dying for others? What if…