There are millions of reasons to hate National Football League players and front office personnel. From former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s domestic violence case to commissioner Roger Goodell’s ineptitude regarding said case, the NFL has been on the losing end of a public relations war this year.
This took a turn, however, when five members of the St. Louis Rams held up their hands in solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri’s “hands up, don’t shoot” mantra on Sunday Nov. 30. This is a perfect example of a peaceful protest that garnered significant attention. It showed young Americans that there are ways to make an impact besides rioting. The St. Louis Police Officers Association, however, was not pleased.
As reported by KSDK.com, the SLPOA released a statement “calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology.” Neither has happened. According to CBS News, the closest thing the SLPOA got to an apology was a statement from the Rams’ executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff saying that he “expressed regret for any perceived disrespect of law enforcement,”
The NFL does not win any PR points back from this act. It does, however, shine a positive light on its players. It shows that not all professional football players are “thugs.” Of course, there are players like Rice who are genuinely bad people. But there are so many more positive role models out there for people to choose from.
This concept holds true in Ferguson as well as football. Yes, power-hungry, racist police officers do exist. The large majority, however, are there to serve and protect and they do a damn good job of it. The reason you don’t hear about the good cops on the news is because good people make for terrible ratings. For every Darren Wilson, there are 50 cops who protected someone.
In reality, this is how the world works. Bill Cosby gave an interview with the Associated Press recently with no pre-negotiated terms. When the reporter asked Cosby about his multiple sexual assault allegations, the comedian became defensive and refused to comment. The allegations are horrifying, but there are comedians who, despite raunchy material, are role models for young people.
Comedian Chris Rock did an interview with the blog Vulture recently about everything from his comedy career to President Barack Obama. In the interview, Rock gave incredible insights on the absurdity of “black progress.”
According to The Huffington Post, Rock noted, “To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.”
All of these situations are different, but one common theme ties them together: there are bad people in the world, but there are more good ones. Focus on them.