A CULTURE PROBLEM

Patrick Creighton: NFL Network is going to burn

The NFL Network has a problem. NFL.com

Since being launched Nov. 4, 2003, with $100M to fund it, NFL Network has become a staple of NFL coverage, included in most cable packages, showing games, highlights, NFL Films, in depth coverage of the NFL Draft and everything and anything from the NFL Combine.

Apparently some of its employees think it’s a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah where completely shameless and disgusting sexual harassment is just fine.  Turns out its attorneys do as well.

In the NFL Network’s response to former employee Jami Cantor’s sexual harassment lawsuit filed January 18, 2018, the Network claims that Ike Taylor, Eric Davis, Donovan McNabb, Warren Sapp, Heath Evans, and Marshall Faulk, among others, never did any of the things Ms. Cantor has alleged they did.  There were no sexual advances, disgusting comments about what they think she would be like in bed, no statements that she was put on earth to pleasure them, no whipping out their junk in front of her, no videos sent by these people of themselves ‘'getting the job done'’ in the shower, no nude photos of themselves or other women they shacked up with, and that it is all complete fabrication.

Oh, wait, sorry, that is not what NFL Network said.

No, the Network admits that its employees actually did all of these things to Ms. Cantor.  However they still say none of it was sexual harassment.  How did they justify this mindboggling position?

They said she liked it.

In fact, if you want the exact language the network attorneys used, they said she “approved, consented to, authorized, and/or ratified” all of the interactions that occurred between her and all of these other male employees where she was subjected to the most vile, disgusting language you can process as well as unwanted sexually explicit pictures and videos.

Considering Ms. Cantor’s suit is predicated on these electronic transmissions, I’m going to have the belief she has the texts, pictures and videos in her possession.  Now I’m going to try to come up with a scenario where 12 men and women allow a bunch of pigs to get away with sexual harassment because they work for an NFL entity and therefore the woman was begging for it.  I don’t think the NFL has that many people on the take.

This story continues to get worse for the NFL Network, where it’s patently obvious that a culture has existed and been cultivated where the boys can basically do anything they want and the girls should just be grateful for the attention and accommodate the boys’ wishes whenever possible.  

Now the NFL Network will do its best to protect its boys’ club environment by portraying Ms. Cantor as the network whore who wanted every guy in the place.  They will seek to destroy her emotionally and professionally.  The network is basically the living embodiment of why the #MeToo movement exists.

This is why the NFL Network needs to burn to the ground, and when it goes to court with this defense, it will deserve to do so.

The fact NFL Network isn’t even trying to deny the despicable and indefensible actions of its employees is incredibly disturbing on its own.  I really cannot foresee how a judge and jury will not find in favor of Ms. Cantor.  For all the NFL Network’s hubris in their "she wanted it" defense – the same defense used for decades by rapists to justify their actions – I hope they pummel the network with at least a nine figure penalty in favor of Ms. Cantor.

Punish them for creating and encouraging this kind of atmosphere.  Punish them for thinking it's OK to continue to smear women as trashy whores when they don’t like being harassed.  Make the penalty so large the only way for NFL Network not to completely burn to the ground is by selling a major portion if not all of the network since it's clear they don’t know how to run one.

But make it burn.

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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