Goodell Versus Gangs

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell won’t tolerate gang signs. That’s good. Despite Charles Barkley’s famous invective, professional athletes, particularly those in the major sports, are indeed role models, and they have a responsibility to set edifying examples. Promoting gang culture in a forum as visible as an NFL game is inexcusable. But Marcellus Wiley, who’s quoted in the piece, says it happens.

I’ll take his word for it. I went to public high school in Mississippi and my neighborhood in Chicago skews shady at times, so I’ve seen a thing or two. However, there are only a couple of gang signs I’d recognize. And something tells me Goodell knows even less than I do. So thankfully, he’s empaneled some experts to show him the way.

On some level, I fear this is a cynical move by the NFL, one designed to make the league more palatable to the suburban whites who constitute the bulk of the customer base. But unlike, say, David Stern’s risible war on the street clothes of NBA players, this effort, cynical or no, actually serves a greater good.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Goodell Versus Gangs

  1. onlineallpro

    Everyone forgets that these players are coming from rough neighborhoods and gang affiliations. I think it is the responsibility of the NFL and other organizations to ensure that they are not recruiting players that are affiliated with gangs. If we allow this type of activity to continue, all of these players who are making millions of dollars per year, have the potential for using some of that money for criminal activity. I am normally not some conservative “white guy”. I have full sleeves of tattoos, I didn’t come from money, and I have a past. But today I am a successful individual and that is all that matters.

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