December 04, 2013
The NFL—Look, Coach, No Guns
By David E. Petzal
The National Football League, as we all know, is a repository of American virtue. It believes in courage, dedication, hard work, sacrifice, and placing the team before yourself. It has produced great athletes who were and are exceptional men as well—Merlin Olsen, Walter Payton, Roger Staubach, Jerry Rice, Bart Starr, Alan Page, and on, and on.
That's one side of the coin. On the other side we encounter some unpleasant statistics. The average NFL career lasts less than 4 years. Despite their huge salaries, 78 percent of NFL players file for bankruptcy within 5 years of retirement. The odds on being a physical wreck at the end of a career are excellent, as is the chance of sustaining permanent brain damage from repeated concussions.
And there is this: NFL players have a predilection for violence off the field. Since the 2013 Super Bowl, 31 NFL players have been arrested for various errors in judgment such as murder, attempted murder, assault, gun charges, flight to escape arrest, and other neat stuff that is very unusual for young men who went to college and make as much in a year as most people make in a lifetime.
That's why it came as something of a shock when the NFL rejected a Daniel Defense ad that the company wanted to run in the course of the 2014 Super Bowl. The NFL prohibits ads for gun and ammunition, but the ad does not mention guns or ammunition.
It simply states a political and legal belief.
After the rejection, Daniel Defense offered to replace the logo—a gun—with a slogan, but the NFL said sorry, no way, again.
It's possible that this is nothing more than hypocrisy. But the real reason, I think, is that the NFL is trying to protect its investments. The oversized guy who crashes his $150,000 custom SUV into a house and breaks down the door with his fists to strangle the family inside may be someone's number one draft pick, and all those millions his team spent on him would go right down the drain if some terrified homeowner shot him in self-defense.
And we can't have that now, can we? It's…un-American.
See the news report and videos about the NFL ban here.