Peterson was suspended without pay for the rest of the NFL season in November 2014 after pleading no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault earlier this month on what the league called “an incident of abusive discipline” toward his 4-year-old son.
Now, I come don’t here to offer some football analysis you haven’t already heard.
Here’s the purpose of this blog: He was reinstated without the core problem of his incident being addressed.
This is another sad example of single-loop vs.
double-loop learning in the NFL.
The 2014-2015 season saw multiple cases come to light of NFL players beating women & children.
A few of the bigger cases were: Peterson (child abuse), Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (domestic violence), Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Greg Hardy (domestic violence), San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald (domestic violence).
These cases caught sail in the mainstream media largely because of 2 reasons: 1) The domestic violence itself, and 2) The absolutely horrible way in which the NFL has handled all of this.
You probably couldn’t have imagined a bigger debacle within the NFL when it comes to how they handled things – and continue to handle them.
For a while when all of this stuff hit the national spotlight at the end of 2014, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was nowhere to be seen because he was under fire too – and teams were flip-flopping back and forth on disciplining the players involved.
To many people, this entire fiasco may have looked like a bunch of grown men who have no clue what the hell they’re doing…but on looking at this entire thing from afar, I’ve realized that it’s another classic example of single-loop vs. double-loop learning.
NFL officials and teams implemented single-loop responses to these domestic violence cases.
They suspended players, kicked them off the team, allowed them back on the team, suspended them again … all in search of short-term solutions to the public’s outcry for justice.
They’re taking the quick, easy route of impulsive reaction.
They’re addressing the problem.
But from everything we’ve seen thus far (even after the season finished & the league had time to truly think about these indicents), the league has not shown much interest in asking the more difficult question of why these incidents are happening.
Is it just a huge coincidence that 6 or so domestic violence cases happened in the NFL at the exact same time? How many more have gone and are going unreported? … This problem seems to be so much more pervasive than people are willing to admit.
On the other side of the coin, an area of study in the NFL as of late has been that of uncontrollable rage in some players as a result of the head trauma/concussions they experience while playing.
These head injuries could very well be one of the causes as to why so many grown, wealthy, larger-than-life men are beating their wife & kids … these head injuries have been happening since the beginning of football, but they’re not being too hugely looked at as possible causes of the problems.
The NFL is addressing the problems – but they’re not taking the second loop and fully digging for the core issues.
Isn’t it interesting to see that even in a corporation where billions of dollars are made each day, these problems still persist? I’d love to hear your comments below on this…
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