Thursday, September 25, 2014

NFL Domestic Abuse Cases

            In the past few weeks four NFL players have been involved in domestic violence cases.  Jonathan Dwyer is the latest player under investigation, and he joins Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice.

            After TMZ released a video of Ray Rice punching his then FiancĂ© in an elevator Rice’s contract with the Baltimore Ravens was terminated. He has also been suspended from the league indefinitely.

            Adrian Peterson is under investigation after allegedly hitting his son with a stick. Peterson has turned himself into the police and was going to play this Sunday until he was put on the Commissioner’s ineligible list.

            Greg Hardy and Jonathan Dwyer are both facing charges of domestic abuse as well. Hardy and Peterson are both on the Commissioner’s ineligible list and are not allowed around their respective teams while on the list. As for Dwyer, there has been no word on whether or not he will be the next name on the list.

            The NFL is under a lot of heat for the way these cases have been handled. After changing the terms of Rice’s suspension from two games to six and then almost allowing Peterson to play Anheuser Busch has voiced their concerns to the NFL regarding these cases.

            “We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.”

           Anheuser Busch is a major sponsor of the league. They put around $200 million into the league each year, and Bud Light is the official beer of the NFL. Nike has stopped selling Adrian Peterson jerseys while his case is in the court system. Other sponsors like McDonald’s and Campbell’s soup have also expressed their concerns.

             If the league can’t make decisions satisfactory to it’s sponsors they could be in danger of losing millions in advertising.

            Should the NFL just be punishing these players?  They could start asking more questions to try to prevent these things from happening again. Why are so many players doing this? Why so many right now? Part of the terms for the players return should be to see a mental health professional to figure out why this is happening.

Did these players just make a mistake that would never happen again, or is there more to this? Could these cases have to do with football related issues?

            It is an aggressive sport with a lot of dangerous contact. Could it be that the aggression needed to play the game extends to the players home life, or could it be that a naturally aggressive person just fairs well in the sport?

            There is also the possibility that the player’s injuries can be to blame for these cases. Three of the players involved in domestic violence cases are running backs and all four are offensive players who take dozens of hits in every game, and practice.

            Retired players have been suing the league because of the injuries they suffered during their career that are affecting them in everyday life. Concussions are the main reason behind most of the arguments. Could concussions be to blame for Rice, Hardy, Peterson and Dweyr’s cases?

            As verdicts are handed out to the players a precedent will be set for how the league will handle domestic abuse cases in the future