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.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
The results of Odorizzi's MRI are still unknown. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Astros starter Jake Odorizzi was carted off with a leg injury on Monday night. Being carted off made it seem like it was a huge deal and Odorizzi could be out for quite a while. News came down from manager Dusty Baker that they “may have dodged a bullet” as he was put on the 15-day injured list. MRI results are pending, but the initial prognosis seems favorable.

Odorizzi has been very hit or miss in his tenure in Houston. He’s started and came out of the pen, but hasn’t been able to gain any level of consistency. Until recently. In his last four starts, he’s thrown 22 2/3 innings, given up 9 hits, and only surrendered 3 runs. Grown man ish. He’s made himself a valuable member of the rotation. With him sidelined, it’s time for others to step up.
Lance McCullers Jr is still about a month or so away from returning. He was switched from the 10-day to 60-day injured list on April 18. While he won’t be able to help in the short term, he should be able to help if Odorizzi is out for a long period of time.

The other starters will have to keep the consistency going. Justin Verlander is pitching like he’s trying to win another Cy Young. His 1.38 ERA would be the lowest since Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA in 1968. I know it’s early, but that is sick through 7 starts and 45.2 innings. Nobody thought he'd come back after missing two years and be better than he was before. Framber Valdez and Luis GarcÍa have 2.93 and 2.94 ERAs respectively. At 28 and 25 years old, they’re two of the guys that’ll hopefully hold down the rotation for years to come. As good as they've both pitched, they'll be expected to keep and exceed the threshold they've set so far.

The two guys I’m mainly looking to step it up are José Urquidy and Cristian Javier. Both guys have youth on their side. Javier has been bounced between the rotation and the pen. Urquidy has seen some regular and postseason success but hasn't solidified himself because of his inconsistencies. While Urquidy has made the most of the chances both have been given, Javier has the potential to be good in either role. I would love to see him in the long relief role with some spot starts and/or opener gigs whenever the rotation is thrown out of whack. That role is just as, if not more, valuable than the back end of the rotation guys.

Having this many guys that can be counted on that have shown they're capable is a luxury. Health will continue to play a part in this team's potential because of the vets that mean so much to their success. If these young pitchers can fill some gaps, grow into their roles, stay consistent, and continue to develop, this team will be scary. They have enough arms, now it's time for them to find their grooves and produce.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome