By Nick Muhl
Many of this weekends National Football League games brought about more headlines discussing the violence and the aggressive nature of some of its players. Rather than game recaps and analysis, many media outlets have taken this opportunity to once again criticize the NFL for not doing a better job in educating players to avoid these types of incidents.
The largest incident this weekend by far came in the game between the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets. Late in the third quarter, Jets quarterback Geno Smith and Titans defensive lineman Jurell Casey exchanged words following a play. Jurell Casey seemed to take offense to something Geno Smith said, and threw a punch into the right side of his helmet as Smith walked away. Chaos ensued after, with both teams clearing benches into a massive brawl.
In the game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants, Redskins receiver Santana Moss had to be ejected from the game after his furious outburst in the face of an official. Moss was upset after the officiating crew overturned a Robert Griffin III touchdown at the end of the first half.
Reporters and writers did not shy away from reporting on a heated exchange of words between Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. The two players only seemed to jaw at each other for the most part, but the conversation did not look like a friendly one.
While some of these examples may seem petty, it brings to light an important issue the NFL must face. Since news stories of Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Darren Sharper, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald broke, the NFL has tried to distance itself from being associated with questionable characters. All of these are either current or former NFL players currently under investigation in cases involving domestic violence, rape, child abuse, and other violent crimes.
This weekend is another example of how much work the NFL still has ahead of it, if it wants to repair its image and regain the respect of many. Sundays NFL games were another example of how the media will do everything it can to continue to highlight the NFL’s issue as long as it remains fresh on fans minds. The NFL may continue to grow frustrated with many media headlines, but they must focus on changing the culture of the NFL and it’s players if it wants to avoid further such headlines.