The league has taken the power of the memo to a whole new level over recent years. Every mid-season decision from player safety to drug abuse has been addresses over the past decade via a mid-season memorandum. Unlike past seasons, this years can be summarized as petty violence. On Wednesday, that theme bizarrely expanded not only to the players but to team staff.
Week 13 Slugfests trigger memo
Over the weekend there was a long list of violent events that included the ejection of Carolina Panthers’ edge rusher Brian Burns. The elite defensive end was thrown out after punching an offensive lineman following a point after attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Burns is clearly frustrated given the disastrous season the Panthers are having and made a poor decision in an emotional situation. The ridiculous problem is that doesn’t even conclude the violence over the weekend.
The most notable action that occurred over the weekend was when San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw tackled a ball out-of-bounds against the Philadelphia Eagles. While it was a somewhat excessive tackle as Greenlaw suplexed the ball carrier out of bounds, the Eagles head of security Dom DiSandro should never have confronted the linebacker and gave him a piece of his mind. The two men had to be restrained and then play resumed a few short moments later.
While no act of violence on the football field should ever be allowed, the league has clearly taken a firm stance against the latter. On Wednesday, the league released a memo that emphasized to the teams that any team personnel are prohibited from “being involved with game day altercations and that they must refrain from such involvement.”
The full memo released by NFL Insider Adam Schefter is shown below:
Following Sunday’s 49ers-Eagles game, the NFL sent a memo to all teams today, warning them that the members of their staffs are prohibited from “being involved with game day altercations and that they must refrain from such involvement.” pic.twitter.com/rpxBxXlW9p
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 6, 2023
Memo focuses on wrong Problem
While I don’t agree with the memorandum, the league is clearly addressing the symptom of a much larger disease. On every other play this season, there is a confrontation between players. There are major social media outburst every other game. And there are now fights that occur in between fans. All of these violent acts have the same root cause: the NFL being willing to take a pay rise at the cost of becoming the WWE.
The NFL has accepted that they need to do whatever it takes to build viewership. In the day in age where every single household owns ten streaming services, they feel the heat to increase viewership so bad that they are taking half measures against violence in the sport. If this were ten years ago, both Greenlaw and DiSandro would have received major suspensions. If only the sport has decided to choose integrity over profit.
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