1:32 PM, Sep 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
As the military prepares to take on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering a review ... of the military's ties to the National Football League. This comes "in the wake of the scandal over how the league is handling domestic-abuse allegations against players," reports CNN.
News of the Pentagon review comes on the same day a senior Obama administration official decried recent domestic abuse episodes within the NFL and said the league needs to "get a handle on" the situation since so many professional athletes are considered role models to younger players.
The Pentagon is increasingly sensitive to any suggestion it is supporting a major sports organization that is perceived to tolerate domestic violence.
An anonymous official tells the news network, "The secretary wants to fully understand that relationship, in case he decides to make some changes to it."
The military has a zero-tolerance policy in the ranks for domestic abuse, but it also has a high-profile relationship with the NFL that goes back decades. Any Pentagon action to cut back support for the NFL would be the most direct involvement by the Obama administration yet in the scandal.
4:06 PM, Sep 15, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Last night’s contest between the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers, in that team’s brand new stadium, was hijacked by the zebras. More penalties than plays, it sometimes seemed. And the ratings were off a little but still good enough to beat the Miss America contest. But if a ratings slide were the worst news possible for the NFL, then the league would happily take that.
10:12 AM, Aug 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The fight over television blackouts of NFL games is on again. The league, which may be the most successful, powerful, and popular sports conglomerate in history, is lobbying Congress for some of its famous protective services.
11:01 AM, Jun 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The white-hot issue of what to call the professional football team currently playing its home games in the vicinity of the nation’s capital just got hotter. Earlier this week, Senator Harry Reid said he wouldn’t accept comp tickets (truly a first for a sitting senator) to the team’s games so long as it continued to be called the “Redskins.”
10:04 AM, May 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama plays a sideline reporter in a video with NFL star-turned White House chef Richard Sherman in a video promoting healthy eating:
"Well, let me tell you," Sherman shouts at Obama. "We the best chefs in the game. So when you try us with an easy meal like salmon cakes and succotash, that's the result you going to get."
"Wow, Richard, where'd you learn to do all this?" Obama asks. "I mean, corn, succotash, salmon cakes."
8:08 AM, May 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The NFL commissioner is headed to the White House to dicuss concussions in sports, the Washington Post reports.
1:43 PM, May 22, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Fifty members of the United States Senate haved signed a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell urging the league to "endorse a name change for the Washington, D.C. football team," known to the rest of us as the Washington Redskins. The name, the undersigned argue, is a "slur against Native Americans", and the NFL "can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name."
May 26, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 35 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
There was a lot of hullabaloo last week over Michael Sam, who, after being drafted in a late round by the St. Louis Rams, is poised to become the NFL’s first openly gay football player. Sam was the SEC defensive player of the year, so a chance to play in the NFL seems well merited, regardless of his sexual orientation. Some groused that Sam was picked low in the draft because of discrimination, but the fact is that Sam made a poor showing at the league’s scouting combine.
8:35 AM, Jan 25, 2014 • By IKE BRANNON
Unlike you, I will be watching the Pro Bowl this weekend, albeit grudgingly.
6:46 PM, Jan 19, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On the one hand, Barack Obama, speaking as a dad, says he "would not let my son play pro football." It's a reasonable judgment, one other parents have made and one they're entitled to make (though enforcing it on recalcitrant sons is another matter!).
10:50 AM, Jan 3, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Cincinnati Bengals won their division and made it to the playoffs but are having difficulty selling enough tickets to this weekend's game against the San Diego Chargers to avoid a local television blackout.
8:29 AM, Nov 5, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The National Football League recently "issued a rule to deny entry to any off-duty police officer who brings a concealed firearm to one of its stadiums …” And, as Eric Katz of Government Executive reports, it is being challenged by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association which represents “more than 26,000 federal workers from more than 65 agencies.”
3:07 PM, Oct 11, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It was a fitting match, yesterday, in Pittsburgh. Kathleen Sebelius and her failing health care plan and the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers, whose coach has resorted to desperate measures such as banning: