Bill Donohue

Brandon McManus, the kicker for the Washington Commanders, has been hit with a lawsuit by two flight attendants who claim that when he was the kicker for the Jacksonville Jaguars he made unwelcome sexual advances while on board a plane last September; it was on the flight to London that the alleged sexual assault took place. The lawsuit also names the Jaguars, alleging that the team did not create a safe environment.

We have no opinion on this matter: we assume McManus is innocent—he claims he is—until proven otherwise. But we do have an opinion on the NFL.

Earlier this month, when the kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, Harrison Butker, a Catholic, gave a Catholic speech at a Catholic college, he was given two standing ovations by the graduating class at Benedictine College. But because his speech mentioned the positive role that stay-at-home moms play, his free speech was condemned by those who fancy themselves as beacons of tolerance.

The NFL joined that chorus. “His [Butker’s] views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes us stronger.”

So what has the NFL had to say about McManus? “We are aware of the matter but will decline comment.”

In other words, the NFL has no stomach for kickers who are traditional Catholics but it has nothing to say about kickers who are accused of sexually assaulting women. Is that because the Jaguars are party to the lawsuit and that implicates the NFL?

There have been roughly 5,400 news stories about Butker since his May 11 speech. He has been lied about—how many actually read his speech?—and subjected to incredible vitriol for simply defending traditional values. Butker said on May 24 that “At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion.”

The NFL has been quoted approvingly every day since it released its statement. By throwing Butker under the bus, it gave cover to those who exercised a “shocking level of hate.” Now it sits comfortably in silence while alleged behavior against women—not speech about women—is in the news.

I am writing to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about this matter. I urge you to contact his office.

Contact Goodell’s communication chief:

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