ESPN’s Hannah Storm: ‘What exactly does the NFL stand for?’

Hannah Storm

The NFL just keeps digging that hole. They keep attempting to remedy the Ray Rice situation by pressuring the victim and claiming to conduct an internal investigation. All of this could have been dealt with many months ago. The NFL only cared about its bottom line, and it shows.

All of the recent domestic violence arrests have been met with little discipline. There’s also the new case of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. On Friday, he was indicted by a grand jury and processed on child abuse charges. The Vikings benched Peterson for the Patriots game. Peterson is arguably a bigger football star than Rice. It will be interesting to see how the league deals with his case.

This affair has dragged on for months. Ray Rice and Janay Palmer entered that fateful elevator in February. Until last week, I’ve felt that ESPN was somewhat complicit with the NFL in their treatment of Rice. No longer. ESPN anchor Hannah Storm (mother to three daughters) has had enough. She unleashed a barrage of questions on Sunday’s SportsCenter. Take it away, Hannah:

“On Monday morning, I was genuinely excited to come to work and break down what I thought was a fascinating first weekend in the NFL. Instead, I kicked off ESPN’s coverage of the horrific Ray Rice elevator video.

“Meanwhile, one of my daughters has her first fantasy football team this season. But at breakfast this week, instead of discussing how her team was doing, we watched the Ray Rice video play out again, in all its ugliness.

“I spent this week answering seemingly impossible questions about the league’s biggest stars: Mom, why did he do that? Why is he in jail? Why didn’t he get fired? And yesterday: Why don’t they even have control of their own players?

“So here’s a question: What does all of this mean for the future?

“What does it mean for female fans whose dollars are so coveted by the NFL — who make up an estimated 45 percent of the NFL’s fan base?”

“What exactly does zero tolerance mean to the NFL?”

“What about the NFLPA [NFL Players Association]?”

“Will the NFL, in all its power, take the lead on the issue of domestic violence?

“The central question: What exactly does the NFL stand for?”

[From ESPN's Sportscenter]

Yes. Yes. Yes. I can easily answer her final question. The NFL stands for money.

FYI: Rice made his first public appearance since last Monday’s video release. He visited his alma mater and watched New Rochelle High beat Rampapo on Saturday. He did not speak with the media, but they were watching him.

Hannah Storm

Photos courtesy of WENN

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

45 Responses to “ESPN’s Hannah Storm: ‘What exactly does the NFL stand for?’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. QQ says:

    Whoo!!! her and Michelle Beadle giving the What-for and speaking truth to power the past few!

  2. Snazzy says:

    I just saw a news article that said that Rice will appeal the suspension saying that he had told the NFL about the punch, even though the NFL said they didn’t know about it at all until they saw the video. Somehow, I believe it – the NFL knew about it, just hoped we wouldn’t.

    This thing gets sicker by the minute. The NFL stands for nothing but greed and misogyny, and I for one, am no longer a fan.

    Edit: Sorry, just to add, she is asking all the right questions, I’m glad someone is. Better late than never, I suppose

    • L says:

      Part of that is because of the way they phrased his suspension. Instead of saying it was about the abuse-the NFL said the official reason he was suspended was because he ‘didn’t tell them about it’ Which is once again-the NFL trying to cover their rear ends. And once again, it’s going to backfire, because as horrible as he is Rice has never denied that this incident happened the way it went down.

  3. aims says:

    They stand for money. They have no moral compass. They look the other way when abuse of any kind . They are an organization that protects and enables abusers.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      The NFL is a non-profit organization! Yeah, that makes sense.

    • Mike says:

      They also look the other way when many pf their stars retire to brain injuries and commit suicide because they have undiagnosed illnesses. Or HOF NFL stars who are living in poverty because the pension does not account for older players before the free agency period. Not just the spouses who don’t count

  4. Sam says:

    The NFL is spineless. It, for years, has cultivated an image as tough, as macho, and now it’s biting them in the ass.

    You know what? There are reports Ray Rice is going to sue the NFL for banning him, because he says he disclosed punching Janay Rice long ago, the league knew and they still only suspended him for two games. And you know what? I hope Ray Rice wins. Not because I have any love in the least for Ray Rice, but because I hope the NFL gets all its crap laid bare for the public. They were pefectly happy to let Ray Rice play on until the public saw that tape. This is not about helping a victim or even punishing an abuser. It’s a money decision. And frankly, such an attitude should get you in trouble. If you are female, you now know that the NFL doesn’t give a crap about you.

    This much be a sucky time to be an NFL player. First they find out that the league doesn’t care about the health effects you might suffer after you leave the sport and know they know that their employer is spineless. I do not envy the players right now.

  5. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    It stands for No Free Lunch – everyone has to make their Own sandwiches.

  6. Brin says:

    Oh Hannah…National Football League…duh.

  7. lisa says:

    their problem is that they are too faced about it. they say they dont harbor abusers and that they are a family friendly organization.

    they need to say, look, they are thugs but that have a unique skill set. we hire the best players, period. we dont pretend that are good people.

    they need to stop wanting it both ways. obviously, they have enough fans that dont care if any of the players are filth to keep making money.

    • InVain says:

      @lisa – you make a good point. I think it’s the hypocrisy that bothers me for the most part. Stop pretending all of these men are outstanding citizens and family figures – because they ARE NOT. I will say, some are…but just like the rest of society – when you put a large group of men together, there will be statistics…for all sorts of things.

  8. kri says:

    They don’t stand for women, that is for damn sure. They care only about money, and they have no problem suspending guys for two years who smoke weed, but no worries if you beat women/kids. I will not watch /support the NFL til sweeping reforms have been made. Say goodbye to my money and my viewership, a$$holes. Those two dollar signs are all you’ll be getting from me.

  9. lucy2 says:

    Go Hannah. She and a few others sportscasters, men and women, have made some really great statements in the wake of all this.
    The NFL wants this all to just go away quietly, but I hope people keep yelling about it, and force some real changes.

  10. Stef Leppard says:

    Any player arrested for violence of any kind — DV, child abuse, rape, fighting — shld immediately be removed from the NFL. The end. There are plenty of “stars”; they will still make billions of dollars without employing violent criminals.

    • Ag says:

      yeap. there are PLENTY of people talented enough with no criminal records to take these people’s places in a heartbeat.

    • badrockandroll says:

      Your solution is a messy one. I’m all for banning convicted criminals, but preventing persons from earning their livelihood when they have only been charged is problematic. What happens if they are not convicted? Does the NFL send them flowers and the missing paycheques as a “We’re sorry” present? How does the person who is acquitted, or has the charges dropped get their reputation back? As odious as it sounds, suspension with pay until the courts have their say is the only thing that shows respect for the seriousness of the allegation and that does not make the NFL a second court system. If a player is convicted of a serious offence, it’s a whole other ball game!

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree – I think suspension until facts can be determined is the way to go. If it’s proven that abuse took place, they’re out for good. Zero tolerance.

  11. Ag says:

    it’s gross that his former high school coach (not clear if he coached him or not) and all these people support rice and “know” that he will “overcome” this. i have a FB “friend” who has been saying the same $hit – “i support rice, i will buy his jersey, don’t judge me.” STFU. how about his wife? will SHE overcome this “stupid incident” and these “unfortunate circumstances”? how about the person who was actually knocked out by him and dragged on the floor like a potato sack? what’s in store for HER? even in such a public DV situation, it’s all about the f-ing abuser – how is HE dealing with this? will HE be ok? and people attack this woman as someone who will take anything because of money. disgusting. even is she was in it for the money, it’d be ok to hit her and knock her out unconscious? do people really see nothing but entertainment value and cash anymore? so, so disheartening.

  12. RobN says:

    As a huge NFL fan and a woman, I think the first mistake the NFL ever made was deciding to be the morals police for it’s players. If I get into legal trouble but don’t need to miss work because of it, my job is unaffected. Get to work on time and do your job effectively is all the normal boss cares about and would just as soon you keep your personal business out of the workplace completely. The NFL should have done the same, but they felt the need to convince us that these guys are all great humanitarians in their spare time and once you’ve done that, then you have to start policing the guys who aren’t.

    My beef is with the prosecutor who gave the special treatment to Rice, not with his employer.

    • InVain says:

      ^ THIS. Thank you RobN. I’ve been nervous to speak up with similar sentiments here as a HUGE football fan/woman. I’m not crazy about how the NFL always operates…policing the morality and ethical nature of these ‘not so good guys’ is what has put them in this position.

      I wish people would also consider that the NFL is not the justice system…the justice system dropped the ball on this one. The way our legal system handles DV is pretty F’ed up IMO.

    • lala4 says:

      The NFL spends hundreds of millions in marketing targeting families / kids. They spend hours showcasing players with hearts of gold visiting ill children and giving back to their communities. If this is the pr image they are selling, well get ready for the backlash when players’ true colors emerge and darn straight they need to suspend or issue some sort of appropriate punishment. Not all jobs are the same…part of being a pro athlete is to promote an image and when you fail, you get fired. Peterson beat a defenseless 4year old toddler. Regardless of your opinion on corporal punishment, it was an excessive beating and had he done it to an adult it would unquestionably be a crime. I am sickened by what these grown men are doing to women, children and even other male counterparts. I am even more upset by those defending them and saying the NFL should stay out of it all. Every abuser and criminal in the world wishes people would mind their own business. Too bad. No more excuses for the monsters.

      • RobN says:

        It’s not defending the behavior to say that the legal system should handle it. Outrage would be better served by directing it at that legal system rather than at a game that employs them. We know all we need to know about Goodell, what do we know about the prosecutor who let Rice skate? Nothing, and that’s because the football aspect is a distraction.

        They both ought to do time. Whether they will or not is the important thing, not the image of the NFL.

    • lala4 says:

      I am not suggesting the NFL act as the justice system. I am stating that the NFL has every reason to terminate employment of those employees who fail to ahere to a certain moral standard. Why is that hard to understand? If I make a racist or sexist remark, I would lose my job. There are a many moral reasons people get fired or suspended that have zilch to do with an actual law getting broken, so by your standards those things wouldn’t count??? It’s called employee conduct, no? Pretty sure admitting to beating your 4 year old and justifying it with bible versus is a good enough reason for suspension until his trial.

    • Veronica says:

      Your job wouldn’t be affected if you were convicted of abuse? I highly doubt that. My sister’s husband is a good man who made some shitty decisions in his youth and wound up with a criminal record, and you can feel to ask him how difficult it is to get even a minimum wage job. I work in a hospital system – even indictment is enough to get you fired.

      Yes, this is an ethical issue. The NFL is a massive industry that millions of people watch, and more significantly, one that benefits from people’s tax dollars. (Stadiums in my area? All built by the city.) Their behavior is beyond reprehensible. It would be one thing if they had simply taken a neutral stance on it, but they actively covered it up and repeatedly forced the victim to take responsibility for it. THAT is what angers people.

    • Nicole says:

      I completely disagree that the NFL is not responsible for policing the behaviour of its players. And I have traditionally been a huge fan. I say traditionally, because lately I cannot watch without feeling disgusted.

      In my profession (for which I am compensated a fraction of what NFL players are), if I do anything, inside or outside the profession, that may bring the profession into disrepute, I am subject to discipline for conduct unbecoming. That is the price of membership i my profession. And that is the price of membership in the NFL.

      The real difference is, my profession regulates itself in a manner that is designed to encourage public confidence rather than simply attempting to manipulate a brand.

      So, no. I don’t think the issue is that the NFL should not be regulating conduct. They should just be doing it with integrity.

  13. GiGi says:

    The NFL is a non-profit organization and the teams get loads of support from the government. If we (the government, people, etc.) want to do something about their policies or lack thereof, we have the power to do it. I think their 501c3 status should be in jeopardy.

  14. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I’m angry with the NFL, and I think they handled this case and other DV cases abysmally. But I think they reflect our entire society. Imagine for a minute that Janay was a total stranger to Rice, and she had gotten on that elevator and he had attacked her the way he did Janay. He’d be in jail. Even if she didn’t remember anything and couldn’t testify against him. Even if he said she “provoked” him. But as a society, we accept a man brutalizing his wife far more than we would a total stranger. I was listening to a show on NPR Friday night about this incident. I couldn’t believe how many people were going with “he needs help.” Yes he does. So do burglars, arsonists, murderers and drug dealers, but we put them in jail anyway. Anyone who acts out in an antisocial way and ends up in jail probably needs help. We do a terrible job providing it. But we put them in jail so at least for a while, they can’t do it again. Unless they are doing it to their spouse or their children. Then all of a sudden, we’re worried about “splitting up a family.” I understand that there are all sorts of problems with prosecuting DV cases. But until men are punished for assaulting their wives as severely as they would be for assaulting a stranger, there is no justice and we as a society are saying that it’s ok.

    I want to volunteer for an organization that advocates for the victims of violent crimes against women and children – for the laws to become stricter and the focus to be off of preserving the family unit. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be very thankful.

  15. Ginger says:

    The NFL has only EVER cared about money and ratings. They have proved this time and again. I stopped watching football years ago because of this. If they are allowed to get away with it they will continue the status quo. Good for Hannah Stormand others like her that are calling them out on their crap. There are so many players that should NOT be playing right now. Michael Vick comes to mind. That scumbag served time and the NFL still gave him his job back. It’s sickening.

  16. Anony says:

    Has anyone else been watching the Child Abuse case coverage of Adrian Peterson? The comments make me SO ANGRY! So many people try to justify it saying that “spare the rod, spoil the child” and all that garbage and defend the use of switches/belts. It angers me because if you see the photos the child (A FOUR YEAR OLD) had large gashes/whip marks down the entirety of both legs. Apparently the bum was even worse but they didn’t release those pictures for obvious reasons (he also had whip marks on his testicles). My blood is still boiling because of the overwhelming support Adrian Peterson is receiving in the comment section on any articles covering it. THIS ISN”T DISCIPLINE THIS IS ABUSE. THis wasn’t a spanking, this was a severe beating. Honestly I’m so angry. I’m angry about all of it and don’t understand why the NFL doesn’t have a no tolerance policy (gives newcomers a chance anyway), but this one in particular burns me the most.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      That is so horrifying, and the lack of understanding and the excuses are even more so. I am feeling very discouraged.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      I just read that the Vikings have reinstated him and he is expected to play this weekend. I’m horrified. That child was beaten, not disciplined.

      The NFL. Champion for women and children everywhere. Disgusting.

      • G. says:

        I’m from MN and you wouldn’t believe the amount of Facebook posts I’ve seen supporting AP. I’m ashamed.

      • Deb says:

        I am beyond disgusted that they have reinstated him and may allow him to play this weekend. He should, at the very least, be suspended until his child abuse case is heard.
        There are no words. :(

    • ol cranky says:

      I expected the RWNJ would come out supporting Peterson and that they will claim that any attempt to sanction him is a violation of the religious rights of Christians to use the bible to justify abuse

    • lucy2 says:

      I can’t believe they reinstated him. That is so clearly child abuse, with injuries bad enough that the doctor immediately reported it. Disgusting.

    • Lauraq says:

      I agree. I’m all about spankings, but when you leave not only visible bruises and lacerations but MULTIPLE bruises and lacerations ALL OVER THE BODY, that is WAY excessive. I’m having it out with some lady on a new site who keeps accusing me of mob mentality and trying to rob him of his freedom and livelihood for saying that, too.
      I’m even willing to theorize that MAYBE Adrian didn’t mean for it to happen. Unfortunately sometimes even good parents lose their temper and end up hurting their kids when they don’t mean to. Even if this is true, what he did was wrong and he needs to face the consequences (and he needs to not be the parent in charge of discipline anymore!).
      I’m a little disappointed because my fiancee is a Vikings fan, and he told me he’s not convinced it really went down like they’re saying. Adrian already admitted to it…he apologized! And there are pictures. “Maybe the pictures were fake?” It makes me sad because he was so ready to be pissed at Ray Rice, and he’s still mad about Ben Rotheisburger from the Steelers never getting in trouble for rape, but now it’s his hero and he can’t believe. (though after I asked him if he was just doubting the story because it’s his team he acknowledged he needed to examine that)

  17. Veronica says:

    One of the radio hosts in my area stated that a woman would have to be a fool to support the NFL at this point, and while I’m not generally a fan of the guy, I have to agree with him. They’ve shown over and over again that they do not give a shit if they’re players are abusers – whether their victims are women, children, or animals. I stopped watching years ago, and all they’ve done is remind me of why I should.

  18. K says:

    What I want to understand is why she WATCHED that video AGAIN with her daughter who had apparently watched it previously? Why did you let your child watch it ONCE let alone TWO TIMES? Ugh. stop being a tv personality and start being a Mom! You can talk to your child, unfortunately, about this however but DO NOT SHOW VIDEOS to your children! W!