The New York Post's Phil Mushnick is never afraid to tell it like it really is. Which makes him an outlier in sports media. This week, he tattoos NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as a pandering "Great White Father" who treats everyone like dopes, insults minorities and presides over the league's untreated illness: the criminality of its players. You won't see this kind of language on ESPN or in the Washington Post any time soon.
In a week in which the NFL tabled a proposal to give draft advantages to teams hiring minority coaches and general managers, Mushnick gives a fitting assessment. He writes that Goodell "prefers to perform as the pandering Great White Father by treating all like dopes, safely painting all with the same dripping paint roller":
"Last week, to the surprise of those who can see, Goodell announced that the NFL hasn’t done nearly enough to hire minority assistant coaches, head coaches, GMs, VPs — even if the increased presence of black sideline coaches, field booth coaches and inside execs became difficult to miss."
Mushnick says that if he was commissioner of the NFL and suspected that any teams were practicing institutionalized racism in hiring team executives and coaches, he'd quickly invoke serious consequences for the offenders. But that's not how the actual commissioner acts.
Goodell (and the league's diversity committee) introduced a proposal to reward teams with improved draft pick positions for minority hiring. They would prefer that teams "conduct more token interviews, token hires, insulting all minority candidates who can reasonably conclude that they’re being indulged for nothing more significant than their race."
The NFL has bigger fish to fry, points out Mushnick, referring to a culture of criminality.
For instance, in 2014, Goodell entrusted Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter to mentor NFL rookies. Carter told them that it if/when they’re arrested they should have a buddy available to be their fall guy and take the rap for payment.
This week, Patrick Patel, the lawyer representing Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker after his arrest for armed robbery and aggravated assault, said his client maintained fire in the belly after his night in jail. And he could "have the opportunity to be Ray Lewis and not Ray Rice.” Rice is the former Ravens running back who knocked out his fiancée in an Atlantic City casino a few years ago.
How comforting, Mushnick says.
Baker could alternatively come out of his alleged foul deed smelling instead like Lewis, "the renown former Ravens linebacker who forgot where he put his blood-soaked suit after the stabbing murders of two men whose families Lewis paid off — before they erected a statue of him doing his post-tackle blood dance outside the stadium in Baltimore, now an annual favorite to win Murder Capital of the Nation."
The latest in a long list of NFL arrests attest to "a growing, untreated illness," Mushnick asserts. It's "the criminality of its players, often felony charges. This past Saturday, four active NFL players were booked on felony gun charges. Such criminality is driving a permanent wedge between the league and had-enough customers, viewers and fans."
Goodell has done nothing, preferring, Mushnick says, to ignore the intelligent rather than offend the offensive. Perhaps it's because the commish and the Players Coalition of social justice warriors are too obsessed with the greater evil of mass incarceration.
Goodell reminds Mushnick of someone else with similar tendencies -- Joe Biden, the Democrats' presumptive presidential candidate. Biden's declaration that his running mate will be a woman is Goodell-style reverse bigotry and eliminates half the nation's worthy candidates. Mushnick issues this zinger to both men:
"One wonders if Goodell or Biden, in need of emergency surgery, would insist on a black surgeon, a female surgeon or 'the best available' surgeon?"
Mushnick isn't through with Goodell yet. He accuses the NFL commissioner of doing nothing to call out the black players who have undermined their black head coaches. Marvin Lewis, the former Cincinnati coach, was undermined by bad guys Adam “Pacman” Jones, Chris Henry and Vontaze Burfict. Pittsburgh's current coach Mike Tomlin had "some real me-first doozies — including Le’Veon Bell, Joey Porter, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Brown," Mushnick says.
Then there's the NFL's Jay-Z issue, Mushnick points out. Goodell isn't the least bit deterred by the NFL’s "Minister of Social Justice" Jay-Z's "vulgar, N-wording, gun-loving, women-degrading lyrics — not aloud, not in public" brand of so-called Super Bowl "entertainment."
Mushnick ends his verbal beat-down of Goodell by writing that if he was a leader rather than "a pandering, feckless and selectively blind monument to populist foolishness, he’d identify the team or teams that he feels practice institutionalized racism in hiring, rather than cowardly condemning all." Offenders shouldn't be hard to identify.