I am a sports guy. I love Sportscenter and follow the NFL, MLB, and NHL. I have always admired the way that the Pittsburgh Steelers have handled their business. I am becoming more and more impressed with the way that Roger Goodell the commissioner of the NFL is conducting his.
Unless you have been living under a rock you know that Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended by the NFL under its player conduct policy. Many of the sports talking heads are decrying this as “legislating morality”. I think that there is a different issue here though. This is the first time that the NFL has suspended someone who has not been brought up on criminal charges. The letter that Goodell sent was direct and clear. The behavior of this player falls outside the standards that the NFL desires to hold its players too.
I think that what we have in this instance is not a “legislation of morality”. It is simply a private company stating that it believes working for it is a privilege and that there is an expectation of a certain standard of behavior. Accountability is something that has been largely in our society at large. We are offended by the concept because it assumes that there is a right way and a wrong way to conduct oneself. This then requires that there is a standard or an authority by which we will be judged. To be judged is immoral.
The hypocrisy of the talking heads is amazing. When a religious leader is found to be immoral the culture screams for punishment. When an athlete is found to immoral the culture screams for forgiveness. It seems that what we need is integrity in our judgment of public figures.
Roger Goodell is doing things right. It is an honor to play a boys game for millions of dollars. Those who work for the NFL should be held to a higher standard and that standard is rightly determined by the league.
What about the church? Are we doing things right? What can we learn from Goodell and the NFL? I think that we can learn much if we would just open our eyes. Hit me up in the comments with thoughts about what the church can learn, if anything.