He continued, “The two people obviously have a couple issues that they have to work through, and they’re both committed to doing that .”
Issues? No, being late is an issue. Being impatient is an issue. Failing to take out the garbage is an issue. A disagreement about money or kids or whether to let the in-laws move in — those are issues.
Assaulting your girlfriend or wife is not an issue; it’s a crime. If a woman feels constantly threatened with physical and emotional abuse, if she gets knocked unconscious — that’s more than an "issue."
What will the NFL do? The league suspends players for drug violations for four games on a first offense. This is worse than that, right?
The NFL should be especially sensitive to violence against women. After Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend and then killed himself, Justin Peters of Slate.com researched NFL players' recent domestic violence history. In December 2012, he reported that “21 of 32 NFL teams had employed a player with a domestic violence or sexual assault charge on his record.” As Peters notes, that does not include incidents that go unreported, as is the case with almost half of such crimes. He also notes that it is much more difficult to convict an athlete in these cases compared to the average citizen. So consider those statistics vastly conservative.
The NFL gives a lot of lip service to protecting, helping and respecting women (to wit: the pink uniform accessories for breast cancer, which is as much a marketing scheme as anything else). But if it really wants to help women, it will send a strong message that says players cannot treat women the same way they treat opposing ball carriers on the field.
Doug Robinson's columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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