Following tumultuous weeks of bad publicity NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finds himself under the gun with a call with for his resignation just days before the Super Bowl. Despite pleas from child advocacy groups and the media including Sports Illustrated, Goodell has steadfastly refused to budge on hiring sex offender Pete Townshend of the WHO for the Super Bowl half time show. The public response has been one of outrage, his office deluged with messages urging him to drop Townshend immediately.
On Monday, February 1, Child AbuseWatch issued a call for his resignation. 'Hiring a sex offender, no matter what the justifications is, in my mind, criminal,' Evin Daly, Child AbuseWatch's Founder and CEO said, 'Goodell's stance with regard to Townshend - his outright support of Townshend's actions as a child porn viewer are inexplicable and plain wrong.' Daly went on to say that Townshend's guilty plea for paying for online porn is a crime that lives on as the children he viewed being raped by adults continue to suffer as their images spread through the internet paid for by people like him.
Other media outlets have been more harsh some delving to what they see as a pattern of behavior by Townshend - see 'Superbowl XLIV - Thugs, Rednecks and Sex Offenders' below. Sports Illustrated wondered why Goodell insisted on following through on bringing Townshend to the event and why such bands as the Rolling Stones or Bon Jovi were not being hired. Why indeed?
Daly is a child advocate campaigner with a reputation for toughness and fair-mindedness. He has years of experience as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem in Palm Beach representing dozens of abused children in family court. He equates child sexual abuse with murder; worse he insists, as it robs the innocent of their lives, forcing them in some instances to relive the event over and over. He regards child pornography as a self-perpetuating abuse mechanism, as it propagates throughout the web forever, fueled by payments from people like Townshend. 'A payment made to a child porn site pays for abuse already carried out and rewards the abuser and the industry. As such it sets up the next victim for abuse,' Daly said.
With Super Bowl days away, Goodell and Townshend are now forever linked in what must be regarded as one of the most serious issues ever faced by the NFL. An issue that will certainly stain Goodell's career as this argument will continue long after the Super Bowl itself with American consumer groups rumbling about a boycott of sponsors services and products - sponsors who have been made as aware of Townshend's past as Goodell has.
Will Goodell resign? Probably not. But we get the point as Daly mulls over Goodell's questionable rationale and to the seriousness of his support of a sex offender.
Superbowl XLIV - Thugs, Rednecks and Sex Offenders
Child AbuseWatch's letter to the NFL calling for Goodell's resignation