Rockefeller wants to investigate NFL

AP

During Wednesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, an email emerged from the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding an executive session being scheduled for Wednesday September 17, 2014.

“Agenda is forthcoming,” the message said.  But since the message landed in the PFT inbox, I had a feeling it had something to do with the Ray Rice scandal.

It did and it does, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.  Per Salguero, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D.-W. Va.) wants to hold hearings regarding the NFL’s domestic violence problem.  Those hearings, if they happen, undoubtedly will address the botched Rice investigation — perhaps getting to the bottom of something the NFL may not be inclined to get to the bottom of.

Rockefeller, as Salguero points out, is retiring this year.  So it’s not an election-year ploy to win votes.

And before anyone says that Congress has better things to do, the NFL has grown over the years into an important public institution, with tax-exempt status for the league office, an exemption to the antitrust laws for its broadcast contracts, and many publicly-financed stadiums.

Besides, it’s important that a league that at times behaves as if it answers to no one answer at times to someone.  With fans not inclined to cut off their NFL habit to spite their painted faces, Congress becomes the best vehicle for ensuring that the NFL operates not as a tail-chasing echo chamber but as a responsible American institution.