Im not saying this is the only reason, but I believe it has significance. The NFL has been marketing directly to younger women. And there is a significant reason as to why they are doing this. These are the younger women who will most likely be having babies within the next 5-10 years. As the kids grow, with all of the PR hit the league has taken regarding safety in football, if a mother feels the game is unsafe, she will be less likely to allow her son to play the game. This was discussed in pretty long length at the beginning of the week on the Colin Cowherd show. ‘Softer’ NFL Turns To Merchandising, Women To Expand Fan Base “It’s a population that has a great deal of influence in determining what activities their kids will be engaged in … and we want to be sure parents have a better sense of what kids are involved in,” explained Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety. He added that education events like this one are “a responsibility that comes with our popularity.” And the sport is certainly gaining popularity with women. According to Ad Age, 50.4 million women tuned into the latest Super Bowl, compared to the 24.5 million who watched the Oscars, and the 23.8 million who watched the Emmys. “The Super Bowl’s female audience has more than doubled from only five years ago, and the last three Super Bowl broadcasts have set records for being the most-watched shows by female viewers. The previous record was held by the 1994 Winter Olympics figure-skating showdown between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding,” Ad Age’s Michael McCarthy wrote, adding: “The game has become as much entertainment and soap opera as sport.” http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/10/31/softer-nfl-turns-to-merchandising-women-to-expand-fan-base/ In my opinion, the NFL believes it has been handed a golden opportunity to further demonstrate to future parents, that bullying of any kind will not be tolerated. The NFL needs a constant infusion of youth to participate in youth football, high school, college, and so on. We have all seen the news lately about bullying online, young adults ending their lives because of horrendous bullying by classmates, etc. Mothers wont see the difference between that kind of bullying, or the kind of normal hazing type found in football locker rooms. They will see the locker room as a threat to their child, and keep them from playing. Unfortunately, what I think has happened in Richie's case, is nothing different then what happens and what has happened in NFL Locker Rooms all along. The difference is, Jonathan Martin has basically single handily opened up the doors to locker room life for all to see, and people who aren't used to that, are now shocked. Now hopefully, the team can get through this without it consuming the season. I believe at this point, however, its not in the teams hands....the agenda train has left the station, and is gaining steam.