Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/4/12
Feel good and not so feel good news out of Packer training camp.

On July 31 the Packers teamed up with police and community agencies to give away 500 bike helmets to kids. http://wearegreenbay.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=145572

And it was announced that Linebacker Erik Walden is suspended without pay for one game for violating the personal conduct policy after reaching a deferred judgment agreement in his domestic disorderly case from Thanksgiving.   http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82af432b/article/erik-walden-of-green-bay-packers-suspended-for-season-opener

The suspension struck me as interesting because, although most of football nation will hardly note a one game suspension, it shows how football players are treated differently. For good reason, one could argue, our youth emulate them and we demand their handlers, the league, do something when they misbehave in addition to legal sanction. We demand extra-legal punishment.

Understand, how many of us in Football Nation know someone or know someone who knows someone who had a domestic situation involve the cops and get the deferred judgment deal? Okay, how many of those people, when the legal system was done with them, had their employers say you are now suspended for three weeks so we can withhold one-sixteenth of your annual salary for violating the personal conduct policy?

The comparison highlights how differently we view professionals in the most popular American televised sport. Suspensions and bike helmets illustrate how it becomes a shared cultural institution through which we communicate values, an instrument of social policy. How do we reinforce a socially positive behavior, safer bicycling? Give away helmets at our cultural temple, shrine, and altar, Lambeau Field. How do we discourage a socially negative behavior, domestic violence? Sanction (extra-legally) one of the chosen few, a member of the NFLPA, try to make an example of him.

Are these means of communication effective? Is the NFL popular enough to engineer social policy?

Maybe, but in any event, seeing pro football as a shared cultural institution through which values are communicated is either pure sewer rat craziness, hyperbolic bourgeois-ese or, perhaps, a bit uncomfortably close to the truth. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pablo Sandoval apologizes for comments about Giants

LeBron James seems to respond to Kyrie Irving's trade request

Senator jokes that President Trump should nominate Tom Brady for ambassadorship

Report: Cubs interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

Marc-Andre Fleury took Stanley Cup on a road trip, protected it well

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cardinals say Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald won't play in Hall of Fame Game

Chiefs LB Tamba Hali goes on Twitter rant, seemingly wants out

O.J. Simpson still invited to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies

Carson Palmer threw football so hard that David Johnson needed stitches

WATCH: 49ers and Seahawks players working out together

WATCH: Vince Carter throws out first pitch for 'SagerStrong Night'

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker