The 57th Super Bowl is shrouded in sexual assault allegations

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon reportedly threatened to shoot a woman in January.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon reportedly threatened to shoot a woman in January.
photo: Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire (Getty Images)

On Thursday night, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott took home the 2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award — one of the most prestigious honors the NFL bestows each year just before the Super Bowl. Named for the late Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, the award is meant to celebrate the legacy of a player who has been committed to philanthropy and his community as well as the game itself, and Payton was widely viewed by those who knew as a philanthropist were knew him.

While there are certainly many bright spots throughout the NFL, celebrating the best of the best of NFL players — the chivalrous, the altruistic, the forward-thinking, and the service-minded — only sharpens the contrast between those who behave properly and those who are women treat as disposable items. Despite efforts from the league to Strengthening gender diversity and sensitivity training, this growing contingent of players, from unknown free agents to certified Superstars, is shockingly showing no signs of stopping. As studies have shown Cases of domestic violence are increasing annually around the time the Super Bowl airs, we know that the kind of men we raise as heroes has an impact on how men behave at home. Basically, playing football was never just a game – it was always about what kind of men our culture worships and what we allow them.

As we count down to the Super Bowl’s romp and manhood smackdown — distractions from Jennifer Coolidge playing a dolphin in an Elf Cosmetics commercial to a sure-fire genre-bending halftime performance from Rihanna — it may never have been like this emphasize important how prevalent sexual assault is among NFL players. And this year especially, these players have come disturbingly close to participating in the Big Game.

On February 2, less than two weeks before this year’s showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles’ offensive lineman Josh Sills took the field charged with rape and kidnapping in Ohio. According to police reports, Sills forced a young woman he knew from his hometown to perform oral sex on him for about 20 minutes, despite her repeated protests. Sills officials have claimed the allegations were false, but photos of the victim taken by police showed bruises on the back of her neck and inner lip.

Though Sills is a rookie reserve player who has only qualified for one game for the Eagles this season, the prospect of a man accused of sexual assault jogging carelessly onto one of the world’s greatest stages is chilling. Sills may have been suspended by the NFL for this weekend’s game, but it’s the ease with which he nearly appeared on this field, reminding us of how often victims don’t speak up and how massive the power imbalance between an NFL player and an ordinary woman really is.

Then, on Monday, reports surfaced that Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon had allegedly threatened to shoot a woman in a “road rage” incident … less than 24 hours before the Bengals entered a playoff game in January played against the Buffalo Bills. after to TMZ. A police report obtained by TMZ details how a 43-year-old woman told police that a man, now believed to be Mixon, “pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot her.” The following day, the Bengals defeated the Bills and advanced to the AFC Championship game. The Bengals and Mixon were just one game away from making the Super Bowl.

The entire 2023 season followed a similarly troubling theme. The courage and fun of football was repeatedly overshadowed by violence (Deshaun Watson is said to have sexually harassed at least two dozen masseuses) and tragedy (Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest mid-game, leaving the entire NFL community speechless). For a year now The investigation into the Washington Commanders’ toxic workplace is underwaywhich ultimately reveals that women throughout the organization have been harassed and harassed by their male superiors, including allegedly Commanders owner Dan Snyder himself.

Despite the NFL’s prodigy, like beloved abortion superstar Joe Burrow, the Abominable sexual violence seems to be the rule, not the exception. The only question left is whether the NFL will do anything about it. My advice? Don’t hold your breath. The 57th Super Bowl is shrouded in sexual assault allegations

Adam Bradshaw

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