Domestic violence in the National Football League

Oct. 15 2014

Every Sunday countless individuals gather around their living room televisions to watch in anticipation as their favorite professional football team strives for a win. Watching NFL has become such a tradition for the men and boys of America that it is no wonder their recent negative attention has come as such a shock to the nation. Although it could be assumed that the violence and aggression displayed during the game is something innate in professional football athletes, I do not believe that most people would think to connect what happens on the field, to what goes on in the homes of some players.

In the past few weeks breaking news about domestic violence cases have littered Sports Center and other broadcasts. Athletes are being charged and convicted of physical abuse to not only their significant others but even their own children. Such accusations have cast a dark light on the true character of these football players and challenged the worth of their fame in our athletic driven society. My concern is that this issue has been going on long before the most recent instances.  “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages fifteen to forty four. Not only that but three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year.” (Domestic Violence)  Even with those staggering numbers domestic violence has not received proper attention until professional athletes were charged with the crime. In the United States one woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds. As if it isn’t enough that women are in danger in their homes, children too are also victims of some men’s unpredictable rage. “More than 6 million children a year witness domestic violence. “ (Statistic Brain)

In my opinion, the repercussions for domestic violence need to be harshened. It seems as though famous personnel feel they are above the law and that they can get away with mistreating others. It doesn’t help that individuals assist in covering it up and try to make light of a dark situation. The NFL is aware of the large spotlight that all of their members are under and because of that I think it is even more important that they be held to a higher standard.

As humans we constantly look to other people for support, encouragement, and motivation. Individuals that violate any rights a human has to be respected and unharmed do not belong in the media or on television screens. No amount of money or fame grants individuals the right to live above the law and it seems that some people think that they are. The White House finally took a stand saying, “The NFL has an obligation not only to their fans but to the American people to properly discipline anyone involved in domestic violence or child abuse and more broadly, gain control of the situation. Many of these professional athletes are marketed as role models to young people and so their behavior does have the potential to influence these young people, and it’s one of the many reasons it’s important that the league get a handle on this and have zero tolerance.” (Sports Illustrated)

Although it is remarkable to have people as high as the White House addressing issues of domestic violence from professional athletes, I think it should come even more from each individual person in America to stand up for those women and children who are voiceless against abuse and really start holding our famous and athletic individuals to the same standards that we hold our own self.

– Jillian Host
Senior
UW-Whitewater

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