Will the “Citadel of Toxic Manhood” (the NFL) Ever Stop Trying to Cover Its Own Assets?

Posted by Melvin Bray on September 12th, 2014 filed in Useful Perhaps

All due respect to James Brown for seeking to speak meaningfully to the issue of violence against women Thursday night before the Steelers-Ravens game. When public figures choose to stand for human dignity, we are better for it. However, we, the general public, need to stop accepting empty responses to real problems just because we want somebody to say or do something.

Violence against women is as much a systemic issue as it is a individual behavioral one. Yet Brown basically said all men in general–which means no one in particular–need to take personal responsibility for their thoughts, attitudes and actions, and that would make the problem of violence against women better. Really? That’s all that’s missing?

It is simply a fact that everyone IS responsible for their own thoughts, attitudes and actions. So to say men need to “take responsibility” for these things is tantamount to saying, “Men need to keep breathing, because if we all keep breathing, we will be alive tomorrow to possibly do something about this important issue.” Such conversation does nothing to move the ball down the field.

With all this talk about responsibility, it was striking that no responsibilities were assigned to the systems of which Brown is a representative (professional sports and sports broadcasting) for perpetuating a culture of violence and toxic masculinity that shapes men who are violent against women. Far be it from the NFL or CBS Sports to “take responsibility” for that which they actually have control over. No, instead NFL and CBS, “Use your megaphone to assign responsibility to the players or maybe all men everywhere, but never to the decision-makers in the C-suite.”

Brown’s statement was a carefully crafted denial of culpability on behalf of pro football, whether he himself intended it to be or not. Many are now celebrating it. However, it leaves us at the same level of non-response that we were before. It just sounded good.

If you don’t believe me, go back and question what’s actually being said.
JB's Supposed Statement About Domestic Violence

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