Sexist: Let's Bar Wives of NFL Ex-Players From Meetings

"If there's a woman in the room, I have to watch what I say."

There's no bigger issue facing the NFL right now than the health problems of retired players. Many of those ex-players are taking their concerns to the league and the players' union, but for some of them, their health has deteriorated to the point where they can no longer speak for themselves.

One such player is John Mackey, the Hall of Fame tight end for the Baltimore Colts who suffered a number of injuries during his career, including multiple concussions, and is now suffering from dementia. Fortunately for Mackey, his wife, Sylvia, is willing and able to speak for him.

Except that no one wants to listen. The New York Times reports that when the wives of ex-players attempted to attend a meeting on Thursday between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and a group of retirees, they were told that they weren't welcome. Stunningly, it was the ex-players themselves who said they didn't want any women around.

Why? Here's what Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson, who played 13 years for the New York Giants, told the Times:

"If there's a woman in the room, I have to watch what I say. Maybe we need to go back and make an exception for her and the wives of players with dementia. But then again, men are men and they'll look at that woman and will not say everything they want to say in the manner they want to say it."

What a contemptible thing to say. Because Harry Carson is worried about watching his language around ladies, he wants his fellow Hall of Famer John Mackey not to have his needs represented at this meeting?

Carson proposed a meeting between Goodell and wives of players with dementia. Sylvia Mackey replied to that by saying, "So a separate-but-equal thing?"

That's an accurate description of what Carson is proposing. Carson should be ashamed.

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