With current and former NFL players lining up on either side of the debate about player health and safety, you may have been wondering, "What the heck does Chad Ochocinco think about all of this?" Fear not, intrepid readers -- because Chad has the OCNN Network and a corresponding website, he's laid it all out for us in a very heartfelt letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Straight from OCNNRepoort.com:
Many of you know I have a father-son relationship with Roger Goodell. I love him and just had to reach out to him with all that is going on. We are at a crucial point in the history of football. The foundation of the game is in jeopardy based on all these factors and the future of the game is going to be shaped by him.
I know it has been a rough week, so I wanted to reach out. Players dying, players suing and on top of that my peers are just going off on you in the media. It does not help that ESPN has all of a sudden become Medical TV with damn near every brain expert on the planet. This has got to be the worst week[s] ever. Since no one is showing any support, I figured I would be the first. You are in one big-ass catch 22 and quite frankly, I am not sure there is any solution. One thing I think can help is killing the NFL PR machine.
Y'all do a darn near perfect job at portraying this game as one played by heroes.
But let's be real dad. This is a nasty, dirty and violent game with consequences. Sign up or go get a regular job. Watch it or turn off the TV and go fishing with your kids. It is really that simple. I know there are probably legal and financial implications that prevent this blunt depiction, but am not sure if you have a choice. If you don't say it now, the mounting evidence being revealed publicly will say it for you very soon. In all, I love you and if anyone can lead us out of this mess, it will be you. Oh by the way, I have a deal for you. Am having a rebound year and plan to do a lot of celebrating in the end zone. Can my fine money go to supporting ex-players suffering?
Goodell has not responded in a public manner at this time.
[Prep Rally: Cleveland Browns' Joe Haden takes jilted teen to prom]
Many interesting points here. First, shouldn't all on-field fines go to those players who need financial help, through the NFLPA and other organizations? We also appreciate how Chad understands the duality of the NFL's current position -- it's impossible to decry and eliminate the violence from a sport that, to some degree, is based on violence. As the French writer Louis Aragon once said, "Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash."
Yeah, Ocho gets that.
In a more serious sense, shouldn't Goodell be talking to more current and former players about this situation? Everybody wants to put forth their opinion on the long-term effects of football on those who play it, but we haven't heard nearly enough about Goodell consulting with those who have paid or are paying that price. Perhaps there are conversations we're not privy to, but as Chad notes, perception is at least half the battle.
Perhaps it's time for Ocho and the Commish to get together and see if the veteran receiver could serve as some sort of Minister of Propaganda. He's got the multimedia idea sewn up already.
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