Are NFL Players Untouchable?

Since 2005 there has been twelve players in the national football league(NFL) arrested for domestic violence or related charges that are still playing in the NFL! Professional football players have found a way to commit violent crimes and still get to play the sport they love, making ridiculous amounts of money while only suffering a small suspension.

I grew up loving football but I am quickly loosing my love for the game. I feel as though when I watch football I am supporting abuse because of how easily the league shrugs it off. Nine out of the thirty-two teams have at least one athlete that has been arrested for violent crimes. Those are the ones who got caught! That means that almost one-third of the league condones such behaviour.

The NFL has one of the most broadcasted charity events that lasts an entire month caring for women with breast cancer. The players on all of the team’s wear pink all of October to spread awareness for breast cancer. Why is it that a league that appears to care so much about women has little to say about domestic abuse? It appears as though the NFL really does care about women when you look at all of the men wearing pink but could it also be that the only reason the NFL has the charity event it to attract women viewers.

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The NFL gave Tom Brady a four game suspension because he was suspected of deflating footballs before the games yet there was no suspension given to Ray McDonald while he was being charged with domestic violence. The NFL is willing to suspend a player for possibly deflating balls but not for possibly being charged with abuse. The message the league is sending is that the game is worth more than a person’s safety.

A very famous case relating to the NFL players and domestic abuse is the the case of Ray Rice. Ray was caught on camera abusing a woman and he was suspended indefinitely from the league. This suspension made a statement that the league was no longer dealing lightly with domestic abuse but just two short months later the suspension was over turned and Ray Rice was back to playing football!

link to video of Ray Rice abusing his Fiancée

Football players continue to believe they are untouchable because of the lack of discipline. Domestic abuse is not the only form of abuse that has been caught in the NFL. Michael Vick was a star quarter back and was caught dog fighting. Vick and his associates trained over fifty bull dogs and called it the “Bad Newz Kennels”. They staged dog fights, killed dogs and gambled over who would win. In 2007 Michael and his associates executed eight dogs for not preforming. The executions involved drowning, hanging and slamming the dogs to the ground. Vick was suspended infinitely from the NFL. After two years out of the league, on July 27, 2009 Michael Vick was back in the NFL. How is it that a man that displayed that amount of violence, hosting dog fights for over six years is allowed to play in the NFL just two years after being suspended?

The NFL needs to make adjustments if they want me and viewers like me to continue to watch a support the NFL. Players do these acts of violence and then give a public apology and everything is swept under the rug and the players are back on the field a few games later. We advertise these athletes as roll models for children, its who they want to grow up to be. How is it ethically okay to allow children to look up to and aspire to be men that abuse woman and get away with it.

If a President of a company was arrested for domestically abusing his wife, he would be fired before he was even charged. Why is It that we treat professional athletes like kids, who just need a time out every now and then. I think it is time that we start treating athletes not only as adults but to a higher standard then the average person because of how much influence they have on those around them. When someone hears about a domestic abuse case in the NFL no one bats an eye because it is constantly happening but if people heard that a CEO of a fortune 500 company had been abusing his wife, people would be outraged. The only difference between the CEO and the football player is that the football player hits people for a living and its good at it. A football player could probably do ten times the damage an average business man can do to another human being yet it’s the business man will most likely face ten times the consequences.

link to video of Desmond Hague abusing a small dog
http://globalnews.ca/news/1528859/centerplate-ceo-des-hague-resigns-over-dog-abuse-video/

Desmond Hague the former CEO of Centerplate stepped down after getting caught abusing a small dog. Desmond lost the company he loves because he was caught on camera abusing a dog one time. Michael Vick on the other hand abused and killed dogs for six years and is still doing what he loves with very little consequences. The difference between Vick and Hague is that Hague got caught making one mistake while Vick got caught with six years of them. Desmond Hague’s career is ruined for abusing one dog while Michael Vicks career only had a two-year suspension for abusing and killing numerous amounts of dogs.

The NFL’s main goal needs to be finding a way to separate an athlete from the game and life at home. The athletes need to learn that hitting can’t solve all of their problems. The NFL is going to have a find a way to monitor their athletes and make sure they are communicating in a safe way with those around them. The Penalties must become more severe for these acts of violence.

Additional reading:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/nfl-sponsors-pulling-back-but-not-out-over-domestic-violence-scandal-1.2771730

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/nfl-controversy/still-playing-12-nfl-players-have-domestic-violence-arrests-n204831

http://aldf.org/resources/laws-cases/animal-fighting-case-study-michael-vick/

Resources:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/nfl-sponsors-pulling-back-but-not-out-over-domestic-violence-scandal-1.2771730

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/nfl-controversy/still-playing-12-nfl-players-have-domestic-violence-arrests-n204831

http://aldf.org/resources/laws-cases/animal-fighting-case-study-michael-vick/

http://globalnews.ca/news/1528859/centerplate-ceo-des-hague-resigns-over-dog-abuse-video/

https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/the-nfls-pink-october-does-not-raise-money-for-cancer-research

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