A couple weeks back we took a momentary hiatus from serious posts to discuss the NFL’s crackdown on player celebrations. League headlines recently got serious when it came to light that New York Giants and former Seahawks placekicker Josh Brown admitted to abusing his wife in 2015. Like the 2014 Ray Rice controversy, this has brought the NFL’s domestic violence policy to the forefront of national headlines as many are questioning the league’s handling of of these issues.
The way the NFL addresses domestic violence is important for several reasons. As a several billion dollar industry that dominates national television and the media, the NFL is in a unique position to help highlight and change public perception of key societal issues. The NFL and football culture generally have a long history of misogyny. The league also inherently desensitizes its fans to acts of violence. On a practical level domestic violence is also a rampant problem in the NFL (21 of 32 NFL teams at one point had employed a player with a domestic violence or sexual assault charge on their records, which of course does not account for what is certainly a lot of unreported instances). Despite the NFL’s huge role in the public sphere and the utmost seriousness of domestic violence, its domestic violence policy has been an utter failure, perhaps because it was never intended to succeed in a way that matches the seriousness of the problem. This brings into question the league’s large focus on benign issues such as player celebrations. Is the league simply trying to deflect attention from the real issues?
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you should contact Elise Buie Family Law Group for a free phone consultation.