UPDATE: For obvious reasons, CBS has pulled the opener that features Rihanna, as well as a “comedic segment”. Lord knows what that was about but knowing NFL pregame shows, we were probably better off without it.
This evening during the Steelers-Ravens game in Baltimore, it will be impossible for the NFL to ignore or even divert attention away from the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal that has reached a fever pitch this week after dominated headlines for several weeks. That the game happens on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks allows the league to spend time remembering the fallen that would otherwise be occupied by broadcasters recapping how the league has mishandled this story every step of the way.
One thing will make it even harder for viewers not to focus on domestic violence is the fact that Rihanna was the choice to perform the new Thursday Night Football theme along with Jay Z. The performance won’t be live in Baltimore, though that hardly matters. It will be yet another association that the NFL the would prefer to do without.