The NFL Has Been Blindsided about Change

The N.F.L. was blindsided by the magnitude of the Dolphins’ bullying scandal and by Sam’s recent disclosure that he is gay. The cases of Martin and Sam suggest that a drastic change is needed in the N.F.L. culture, which was built upon a one-dimensional and increasingly destructive concept of manhood. …
For the past three years, N.F.L. Commisioner Roger Goodell has preached player safety, yet the Martin-Incognito episode and the emerging story of Sam raise questions about players’ psychological and emotional safety….

William C. Rhoden, “Three Stand as Test Cases for the Hidebound N.F.L.”, The New York Times (23 February 2014), SP11.