Controversy, like politics, can make strange bedfellows, and the ongoing NFL domestic-assault coverage has some unlikely voices suddenly rooting for Condoleezza Rice and eagerly pushing to have her under center as the league’s next commissioner.
The same commentators who think cut-blocking is just a term for Senate Democrats’ rejecting Paul Ryan’s budget are now suddenly experts on the NFL and who should run it. Critics claim current commissioner Roger Goodell is too controversial to lead the league, and the time has come to replace him with someone more esteemed and popular.
So who is the only name that has been floated by the Left to take some heat off the league, to help quell an increasingly politicized outrage, to be a welcomed presence and a non-contentious figure? Just a little-known, inconspicuous former secretary of state that carries no baggage with her whatsoever.
The voices on the left now toying with the notion are the same ones that would eagerly take her down from her first opening kick-off. Rice can’t even set foot on a college campus without setting off an onslaught of sit-ins, protests, and boycotts; now, the same media figures who condone these demonstrations, if not personally hurl the “war criminal” invectives with Matthew Stafford–esque zip at Rice, are going to welcome her with open arms? Come on. You can already imagine the Salon thinkpieces linking the NFL’s handling of head trauma to Rice’s treatment of Abu Zubaydah.
We already have evidence of this eventual outcome. SB Nation’s Spencer Hall quickly brought up torture and Rice’s violations of “of human decency, the Geneva Convention, and every tenet of even the loosest definition of human rights” when she was added to the College Football Playoff selection committee last fall.
Listening to political pundits talk about sports over these past few months has been insufferable enough, and sportswriters taking self-righteous positions is equally tedious. The idea of a Rice commissionership tickles these commentators’ fancy because it gives them the opportunity to link the Rice/Peterson controversy to an area they actually know something about. Ultimately, they don’t want Rice as commissioner — they want to be able to talk about her as commissioner.