(The Washington Post) – Facing two major scandals — first Ray Rice, and now Adrian Peterson — the NFL continues to weather one of the worst public relations storms it’s ever seen, unlikely to be calmed by some fresh accusations against Peterson. But the league acts with impunity — it’s outside the reach of Congress, even when senators send sternly worded letters condemning it. Despite cries from groups such as the National Organization for Women for Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down or be fired, there’s little indication that will happen. Owners have said they will give Goodell the boot if an investigation into the commissioner’s handling of the Ray Rice situation determines Goodell acted with “willful and egregious misconduct,” but they don’t expect that’s likely.
All signs point to the NFL digging in its heels, because, well, it can. Even during one of the worst weeks for the league, more than 20 million peoplestill tuned in to watch Thursday night’s game between Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
But there’s one thing that might make a difference: if sponsors start to get spooked.
On Monday night, Radisson became the first business to suspend its sponsorship deal with the Minnesota Vikings not long after the team announced it would reinstate Peterson in time for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges after beating his 4-year-old son with a switch. The beating reportedly left open wounds on the boy’s legs and scrotum.