DALLAS, TX – It was a rough week for America. Among the bizarre events, freaking Nazis marching around with impunity and a minor nuclear scare. When North Korea threatened to attack Guam, Trump eased the concerns of Governor Eddie Calvo by telling him not to worry; Calvo was about to be famous and tourism to Guam would increase tenfold! This guy is running nuclear preparedness drills and Trump is talking about tourism. We’re so screwed.
The NFL’s two favorite issues surfaced this week, like Whack-a-Moles that won’t stay down.
–Ezekiel Elliot was suspended for six games for domestic violence.
–Marshawn Lynch did not stand for the National Anthem in the Raiders first preseason game.
We take controversial topics head on around here, so let’s have a look.
NFL Takes a Stand
At first glance, six games for Elliot seemed like overcompensation. The NFL’s head-in-the-sand policy on domestic abuse in past years has been roundly condemned and the league is eager to improve its image in that department. But the NFL claims to be convinced of three separate incidents of physical abuse by Elliot. If the NFL believes they have conclusive evidence of three incidents, six games doesn’t seem like enough.
The accuser took pictures of her injuries when they happened and texted them out on the same day. Medical experts confirmed the injuries were consistent with what she said happened. No one denies they were together those days and Elliot’s attorneys were not able to provide any other explanation for her injuries. But if there was so much evidence, why were the charges dropped?
The accuser lied about another incident where she said he pulled her out of the car. She colluded with a friend about deceiving the police to back up her fake story. Why make up an incident if there were three real ones? Her motivations for that aren’t clear. The NFL said they found no reason to doubt the rest of her story, but that’s the kind of thing that doesn’t play well with a jury.
The NFL also apparently had access to more evidence than the Columbus Prosecutor’s office. Shouldn’t the police be able to get as much evidence as his employer? Maybe Ohio law enforcement let the star Buckeye off the hook?
During the ridiculously long investigation by the NFL, Zeke wasn’t exactly on his best behavior. He pulled down a woman’s top at a St. Patty’s Day parade and knocked out a guy in a bar. Allegedly. He also went to a bar with a close friend who was carrying an unlicensed gun. Zeke should read Plaxico’s cautionary letter to the NFL draft class. He might be headed for trouble.
The NFL’s decision here seems reasonable. They had to come down pretty hard, but there’s just enough doubt for it not to be a season ending suspension. But there has to be a zero tolerance policy from here on. His Dad says he has a team of lawyers and plans to fight it. I don’t know if they want the details of this thing being hashed out for months to come.
Marshawn Takes a Seat
Lynch celebrated his return to the NFL by not standing during the National Anthem in his first game back. I’m all for standing up for what you believe in, or not standing up, but this guy really went for it. Not only was he sitting on a cooler, he was wearing a hat and eating a banana. There’s a more respectful way to protest, I reckon. But is that what he was doing?
Lynch continued his tradition of ignoring the media and provided no explanation. Head Coach Jack Del Rio said he doesn’t like it, but if that’s what Lynch has always done, he’ll respect it. But as far as anyone can tell, Lynch has never not stood before. Odd.
The assumption is that Lynch is supporting Colin’s Kaepernick’s stand. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lynch un-retired just to sit through the anthem. That guy marches to the beat of his own accordion, for sure. Hopefully he’ll grace us with an explanation at some point. It could just as easily have been a protest as it could have been a brain fart after a pregame bong session.
Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, no stranger to pregame bong sessions. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.