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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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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