The NFL Should #TakeTheKnee for Player Violence Against Women

The NFL has a “domestic abuse” problem.

Many of their players have been caught beating up their wives and girlfriends, and unless it is caught on video and goes viral, it seems that no one really cares.

The NFL turns a blind eye to players who are accused of rape and draft them anyway – so it’s no wonder when they abuse or assault women down the road, they try and keep it quiet.

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Remember Ray Rice?

He’s the former NFL player who beat the CRAP out of his girlfriend in an elevator.

In 2015 alone, 44 players were accused of abuse or sexual assault. Link.

Sadly, even now in 2017, the NFL still does not care about domestic abuse, as they continue to draft players with abuse and assault records.

Maybe the NFL should take a knee for the women they allow to be abused?

From USA Today

When the NFL shows its video interview with Ray Rice to teams this month, it ought to schedule a special session for owners and front-office staff.

Because the message hasn’t been getting through.

That much was clear during the draft last week, when at least a half-dozen players who have been accused of physical or sexual assaults were welcomed to the NFL with little more than a shrug by their new teams. As was the case with Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and Josh Brown, some owners and executives continue to thumb their noses at the league’s efforts to address violence against women, deciding they can live with a history of abuse so long as a player will help them win games.

From Chicago Tribune

If you’re an ordinary employer, you go to the next applicant on your list. If you’re the National Football League, you roll out the red carpet.

That’s at least one potential lesson from this past weekend’s NFL draft. In the first round, the Oakland Raiders drafted Gareon Conley, who has been accused of rape. In the second round, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Joe Mixon, who in a much-viewed video punches a woman so hard that she falls down unconscious. In the sixth round, the Cleveland Brownsselected Caleb Brantley, who was accused of doing pretty much what Mixon did. And they are not the only drafted players who face or have faced such charges.

Of course not every accusation is true. The players might turn out to be innocent. (Well, not Mixon, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and reached a civil settlement with the victim.) But most employers would nevertheless tread warily, no matter how much talent the prospective hire might bring. Yes, there is a certain unfairness in punishing would-be employees who have been convicted of no crime. On the other hand, a business has reputation and morale to worry about.

The NFL is different. Although some fans say that they are giving up professional football, there’s no serious prospect that outrage over accusations of violence against women will lead to significant boycotts. Nor am I advocating such a course. (I’m going to keep watching.) But we live in an era when over two-thirds of those surveyed believe that the league has a serious domestic violence problem. The figures are the same for fans and non-fans.

When that large a swath of the public believes you have a problem, you have a problem. It’s true that lots of players who have been violent against women in the past have been drummed out of the league with plenty of competitive years left in them. It’s also true that the ESPN announcers looked shocked when Mixon, horrific footage and all, was drafted in the second round. The network immediately showed the video.


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  1. Al Christie
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