The growing involvement of women in the NFL was cited after the latest rash of fines “simply for blocking and tackling” that left critics like Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh slamming football for becoming “ridiculously soft and feminine.”
While fans geared up for Week 9 action across the league Sunday, sports reporters, veteran players and political commentators reacted to reels from the prior week’s gameplay that landed lightening some pockets by nearly $50,000.
Among the critics was Walsh, who reacted specifically to the “unnecessary roughness” call that cost Baltimore Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard $21,694 against the Arizona Cardinals highlighted by The Baltimore Banner’s Jonas Shaffer.
“They’re fining players simply for blocking and tackling now. The NFL has gone out of its way to promote and hire women to leadership roles and now the league has become ridiculously soft and feminine,” came the critique from the “What Is a Woman?” filmmaker. “Not a shocking result.”
They’re fining players simply for blocking and tackling now. The NFL has gone out of its way to promote and hire women to leadership roles and now the league has become ridiculously soft and feminine. Not a shocking result. https://t.co/Jy58sGnSAS
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 5, 2023
Out of 31 fines imposed for on-field violations in Week 8, NBC Sports reported that 20 had come from unnecessary roughness calls. Out of all the fines handed out, Green Bay Packers linebacker Kingsley Enagbare took the smallest penalty at $5,170 for a hit on a quarterback while the Chicago Bears running back D’Onta Foreman and Miami Dolphins safety DeShon Elliot took the biggest wallop at $43,709 a piece for unnecessary roughness. Elliot was smacked with two such fines against the New England Patriots, including an initial unnecessary roughness penalty for $9,833.
The fine to Foreman was highlighted by former NFL tight end Clay Harbor who wrote, “If you poll the PLAYERS in the NFL not ONE is going to say D’Onta Foreman deserves a penalty much less to be fined 48k here. Does this come from NFL owners? Do they support when [Commissioner] Roger Godell does this?”
If you poll the PLAYERS in the NFL not ONE is going to say D’Onta Foreman deserves a penalty much less to be fined 48k here.
— Clay Harbor (@clayharbs82) November 5, 2023
Likewise, Philadelphia Eagles reporter Josh Tolentino pointed out “The NFL fined Eagles RB D’Andre Swift $9,857 for ‘Unnecessary Roughness’ that occurred on Swift’s truck over safety Percy Butler toward the end of last week’s win at Washington Commanders.”
The NFL fined Eagles RB D’Andre Swift $9,857 for “Unnecessary Roughness” that occurred on Swift’s truck over safety Percy Butler toward the end of last week’s win at Washington Commanders: pic.twitter.com/xCxw0cLwhe
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) November 5, 2023
Later, Walsh pointed to a 2020 op-ed from NFL Executive Vice President Renie Anderson where she had remarked, “Although there is still more to do, the NFL league office has worked hard under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s leadership, especially the last several years, not only to promote women, but to put them into positions of major responsibility and hold them accountable. I’m proof of just that.”
Anderson added at the time, “Not only is our Chief Operating Officer (COO) female, women also fill the roles of Chief People Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Security Officer, Deputy General Counsel, Senior Vice President of Football Operations, Senior Vice President and Special Counsel for Investigations, Senior Vice President of Communications, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, Senior Vice President of Football Communications and Marketing, Senior Vice President of Partnerships, Senior Vice President of Health & Safety, Senior Vice President of Brand and Senior Vice President of Partner Operations.”
For the commentator, his position was hardly a new take as in 2021 he had made waves when he had argued about female broadcasters with a particular gripe over WOTC 11 sports director Lindsey Gough’s complaints about behavior in the stadium during a game between Georgia and Clemson.
“Got all kinds of violated during my first live hit by fans,” she had tweeted at the time leading Walsh to react, “Lindsey, though worse than the average–even as far as female sports reporters go–is definitely not the only female to enter into this mostly male space and seek to feminize it. She wants the football stadium to be quiet and gentle, considerate, respectful of personal space. She wants it to be a more feminine environment. She’s not trying to assimilate herself into the culture of football fans, she is rather hoping that they assimilate themselves to her.”
— BPR (@BIZPACReview) September 7, 2021
On his latest assessment, one user attempted to counter the opinion with an argument toward safety and said, “Meanwhile concussions have increased by 18% in 2022, the NFL is facing a mega suit with CTE pathology. The cult of masculinity is deadly, Aaron Hernandez and so many others paid with their lives.”
To that, Walsh responded, “‘The cult of masculinity’ built human civilization” and “Also, Aaron Hernandez was a criminal thug. Blaming ‘CTE’ for his actions is bullsh*t.”
Also, Aaron Hernandez was a criminal thug. Blaming “CTE” for his actions is bullshit.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 5, 2023
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