Tags: Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | Fran Tarkenton | protect | women | children

Fran Tarkenton: If We Can't Protect Women, Kids, 'We're ISIS'

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 05:47 PM

In light of the recent child abuse and domestic violence controversies hitting the National Football League, former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton says that if we are not able to protect children and women from violence, then we're no better than the Islamic State (ISIS).

"If we're not able to, in this country, to protect 4-year-old children from being abused," Tarkenton, 74, told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

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"If we cannot protect our women in this country from something that's been going on for decades, domestic violence, and we have to wait to see a 225-pound running back knock out his wife with a punch," he said. "And we couldn't, they couldn't, cover that up."

"If we cannot protect our children from abuse and being battered and beaten, if we cannot protect our women from being battered and beaten, then we're ISIS, are we not?" he asked.

According to Tarkenton, who played in the NFL for 18 years with the Vikings and the New York Giants, what has gone on in professional football for years is "a total cover-up."

"Did you think when O.J. Simpson brutally murdered his wife that he wasn't a domestic violence guy?" he asked.

"Sure he was, he had beaten her time and time again before that, but we ignored it," he explained.

"Hopefully, this will open up Pandora's Box and make this game even better than it is," he added.

When the Vikings announced Tuesday that they were reinstating Adrian Peterson, who is accused of abusing his 4-year-old son while disciplining him with a wooden switch, Tarkenton told Fox News that he was "embarrassed."

"I was on the very first Vikings team that ever was, and I'm embarrassed," he said.

On Wednesday, however, Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said Peterson will not be participating in any team activities while he sorts out his legal matters.

"The important thing they admitted today in that press conference . . . they were wrong," Tarkenton told Newsmax. "They made a mistake, and they did the right thing here."

The former Viking told Newsmax that at least the current situation with former Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice, who was caught on video punching his wife, and the allegations against Peterson are forcing the NFL to be more transparent.

"We're in a situation when the transparency of the NFL is now being transparent, to a point," Tarkenton explained. "They have not been for the 55 years that I've been involved with the NFL."

"There's so much else that needs to be exposed," he said.

"I am confident that the [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodells of the world and the Zygi Wilfs and his brother Mark will now say, 'We've got to stop the cover-up. We've got to go and protect these people, we've got to set a standard,'" the owner of GoSmallBiz.com said.

"I hope that this will be the start of that," he added. "I am hoping against hope that in this great sport of ours that we're going to see leadership from Roger Goodell and the owners to go out and be transparent, and let's address these horrible issues."

Besides the problems with domestic violence and child abuse in the NFL, there's also been "a total cover up" about prescription drug use, performance-enhancing drugs, and brain injuries, he alleges.

"The abuse of pain pills that's been going on since my generation, the performance-enhancing drugs, which enables these people to put on 40 and 50 and 60 pounds," Tarkenton said.

"This is not natural stuff you're seeing when you see ripped arms and ripped thighs and ripped pecks that make them bigger, that's a total cover-up," he added.

When it came to the link between brain injuries and brain damage "up until 2009, they were in denial, they put out their doctors to say, 'You know, concussions do not lead to mental problems and Lou Gehrig's disease and Alzheimer's and dementia.'"

However, "they were refuted, because doctors in other places of the country, Pittsburgh and up in Harvard, started studying the brains of deceased football players and said, 'There is a direct correlation between concussions on the football field and the brain damage that it does,'" he said.

"They're now paying an $800 million fine."

Tarkenton said there's a more recent "report that 28 percent of NFL football players . . . will suffer from some sort of brain illness because they played professional football."

"That's a terrible thing, but at least we're addressing it now," he added.

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In light of the recent child abuse and domestic violence controversies hitting the National Football League, former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton says that if we are not able to protect children and women from violence, then we're no better than the Islamic State (ISIS).
Fran Tarkenton, protect, women, children
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Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 05:47 PM
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