A story I did last month looked at why so many NFL alumni move on to network sports punditry instead of shifting to the local TV station, like the days of yore. Some believe working at a station’s sports department is substantially more work—attending practice, reporting and putting together daily packages, besides being on air—than sounding off on the issue of the day on ESPN or the CBS or Fox pre-game.
In fact, I did get a bit of punditry from Vai Sikahema, the former sports director at WCAU Philadelphia who moved to the a.m. anchor desk earlier this year, and it is timely in light of the disturbing video put out by TMZ Sports earlier this week. We were discussing the major stories surrounding the NFL before the season kicked off, including head injuries and domestic violence, such as the case involving Ray Rice and his then-girlfriend and current wife.
Mind you, this was almost a month before the release of the video that showed Rice knocking out his fiancée with a punch.
“It’s crazy to me that you get a four week suspension for ingesting a diuretic and two games for domestic abuse,” said Sikahema “It absolutely boggles my mind that [the NFL] has done that.”
Sikahema, who strikes me as one of the more decent people working in local TV, said the issue of domestic violence in the NFL will not go away until the league takes a harder stand against it. (In late August, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did admit he was wrong on the initial Rice suspension, and instituted tougher penalties for such incidents.)
“It’s an issue that will haunt them until they figure it out,” Sikahema said.
Sikahema’s eight-year NFL career included time with the St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.