Anyone with a pulse knows about the NFL and Ray Rice. Rice was caught on video knocking his then-fiancé (now wife) out with a haymaker to the face. Rice has been suspended indefinitely by Roger Goodell and the NFL.
Here comes a shocking news flash. This isn’t the first time a professional football player has been accused/charged/convicted of domestic violence. This isn’t even the twentieth. According to a USA Today database 85 out of 713 arrests of NFL players stemmed from domestic violence since 2000.
Nearly twelve percent of all NFL players have been arrested for domestic violence since 2000. That is an average of six per year. It’s time the NFL admitted that a serious problem exists.
The biggest problem plaguing the NFL (besides the fact that it can’t seem to control its players) is a lack of consistency.
Why was Ray Rice handed such a harsh penalty? Ray McDonald, defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers, was accused of felony domestic assault after allegedly beating his girlfriend. Did Goodell suspend McDonald? Not at all. In fact, McDonald played in the Niners opening game against the Cowboys.
Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers defensive end, was convicted of assaulting and threatening to kill his former girlfriend. That conviction is currently being appealed. And in his defense, a 911 call paints a different picture of the events. But, Hardy is currently convicted of domestic violence. He’s still playing with the Panthers.
A.J. Jefferson, a Minnesota Vikings cornerback, was charged with a felony count of domestic assault by strangulation. He was originally suspended but later reinstated. Goodell has yet to explain why he lifted the suspension.
Dez Bryant, Rod Smith, the list goes on.
The question is why? Why does the NFL continue to ignore or downplay the problem? Even in the wake of Goodell’s newest policy that outlines a hard six-game suspension for the first offense and up to a lifetime ban on the second, the NFL still lacks consistency.
Ray Rice wasn’t convicted of anything. Greg Hardy was. Rice can’t play another down in football. Hardy will suit up for the foreseeable future.
Until the NFL gets down and admits that it has a serious problem with violence spilling off of the field and into the homes of its players nothing will change.
We will continue to read stories of battered wives, broken girlfriends, and beat up mothers.
Get dirty Goodell. Fix the problem.