As a female sports radio host, Amy Lawrence knows what it’s like to be a minority in a male-dominated profession. So does Amy Trask, who worked her way from unpaid intern to NFL executive.
“I saw an evolution,” Trask said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I joined the Raiders in the early-to-mid ’80s as an intern and then in the mid-to-late ’80s on a full-time basis. Over the almost three decades I was with the team, I saw the landscape change – not just in sports, but in society in general. We’re not where we need to be yet with respect to race, gender, ethnicity or religion because none of those factors should matter when businesses or individuals should hire. And frankly, an individual or a business that (discriminates based on those factors) deserves to fail, in my view.”
Trask was also asked about player discipline in the NFL. On Thursday, the league suspended Johnny Manziel and Rolando McClain for four and 10 games, respectively, for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. McClain, a repeat offender, was suspended for four games last season for violating the same policy.
Is the NFL’s disciplinary process getting better?
“I do think it’s changing, and by the way, at least (the suspensions were announced on a) Thursday, not a Friday,” Trask said, poking fun at the traditional Friday news dump. “But I do think it’s changing. The number of arrests of current players is significantly down. I do think that things are changing – perhaps more slowly than people would like – but I do think that things are changing. I also think it’s a shame. Look, there are thousand and thousands of really, really good men who played and who play this game, and unfortunately – and this mimics society as a whole – we spend so much time talking about the relatively few on a percentage basis that don’t behave appropriately. There are so many more men who have played and played this game that do the right thing than don’t. But you’re right. There still will be suspensions until everybody’s behaving correctly and by the rules.”
While Roger Goodell has taken a beating from pundits around the country, Trask believes the NFL commissioner has done a good job overall.
“Let me tell you something: If we’re grading this on a curve, I grade Roger well,” she said. “I experienced two commissioners, and look, the commissioner works at the behest of 32 owners. We can look at the commissioner, but we should also look at owners. Grading Roger on a curve, I grade him very well.”