Having a good friend who happens to be a Green Bay Packers fan has been daunting.
Especially since I'm a Bears fan.
Once I lost a bet on a Bears/Packers game and was subjected to wear Packers gear in a Packers bar watching a Packers game.
It was pure hell.
She loves her some green and gold. Literally.
So you can imagine my surprise when she started posting messages on Facebook about her displeasure with the Packers and their silence on the recent NFL domestic abuse scandals.
While I noted her displeasure, I thought she'd eventually return to her Packer loving ways.
The letter below proves otherwise:
Dear Green Bay Packers,
I am very sad to tell you this but it’s over between us. I simply will not tolerate the dismissive attitude that the league, your fellow owners, the corporate sponsors, and you – yes, you, through your silence - have taken toward the abuse of women and children. You all say you love me, but in reality you all only love my money.
Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are thugs. They are in the vast minority, but because they generate lots of money, your friends are willing to look past their thuggish behavior. Roger Goodell was lying when he said he hadn’t seen and didn’t know the contents of the second video. Period. End of story. He has got to go and the league has got to completely revamp its policies. But we both know that won’t happen. The “independent” investigation overseen by Goodell’s strongest backers is a farce. The results surely won’t be made available until after the season is over when the average fan has been distracted by an endless parade of celebrity misadventures. What you and your buddies fail to realize though is that I’m not your average fan.
I didn’t reach this decision rashly. I love Packer football. I was raised on Packer football. When people ask how the heck I became such an avid fan even though I’ve never lived in Wisconsin, I explain that it was a genetic anomaly I got from my mom. She was raised on a dairy farm in Bayfield County and had four brothers. That woman bleeds green and gold.
Packer football has been a wonderful part of my family’s life for many years. Along with my husband and parents, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the Lambeau game day experience five or six times. We were there when the Packers played well and when they didn’t. We were there when the weather was beautiful and when it wasn’t. We even braved the harsh weather and attitudes of Bear fans to watch the amazing come-from-behind win last December in Soldier Field.
Packer football has been a welcome distraction from serious illness. Mom’s breast cancer treatments in 1995. Dad’s cardiac issues in 2007-2008. One Sunday, the family piled into my dad’s hospital room in intensive care to watch the game together. He looked adorable in his hospital gown and big foam cheesehead. The Packers played a great game that day – it was hard not to whoop and holler and disturb the patient in the other bed.
We’ve had such great times together. The Favre years were so damn fun to be a small part of. I’ve never experience such highs and lows. Aaron Rodger’s growth from Favre’s backup to one of the best QBs - and people - in the league has been awesome to watch. Year in and year out, we proudly cheered you on and loved every minute of it. The games made for great conversation around the proverbial office water cooler where friends and colleagues formed bonds and playful rivalries.
I do give you credit for being wonderfully unique – a team owned by its community of fans. You’ve been more thoughtful than other teams about talent selection and development. You’ve been both intolerant of off-the-field shenanigans and proactive in your responses. But, you’re not a standalone organization. You are part of a large and powerful group of executives and owners who clearly don’t share your small town values and frankly they outrank you.
In addition to raising me to be a Packer fan, my parents also raised me to think for myself and have the courage to take a stand even if it meant I was the only one standing. The NFL’s attitude violates my core values of honesty, integrity, owning your mistakes and doing the right thing - not just when you’ve been caught, but even when no one is looking. Roger Goodell and the NFL owners just don’t get it. And because they don’t get it and likely won’t get it until it hits their wallets, I am walking away.
It’s not me – it’s you.
P.S. I have a large box of your things – hats, jackets, shirts, mugs, etc. – that I’ll send back to you in the next week or so.
Note to the NFL: This isn't going away
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