Skip to content

NFL and Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is out of the closet.  The graphic video of NFL player Ray Rice slamming a knock-out punch directly to the face of his wife in a casino elevator is causing our country and the world to discuss a terrible and wide-spread problem of Domestic Violence. Most often this violence is men hitting women.  But it can be women hitting men, or even same sex partners.  Domestic Violence often begins as verbal and emotional abuse and can escalate to physical violence which can include hitting, biting, restraining, and torture.  There are many cases that have resulted in murder.

(If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse call the confidential hotline 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or visit their website

The way the National Football League has handled this and in particular, the Commissioner Roger Goodell and also the Baltimore Ravens seem more intent on protecting their profits than dealing with a major social issue that has affected many of their players and coaches. It isn’t just Ray Rice, but Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49’s, Greg Hardy of  the Panthers and Quincy Enumwah, practice squad of the Jets.  And that is just this year’s batch!

The fact that the NFL was slow to deal with Ray Rice at first suspending him for only two games but then after the video came to light suspending him indefinitely tells me that Roger Goodell and the good ole’ boys of the NFL wanted to keep this in the closet. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.  That’s the problem with Domestic Violence.  We don’t often see it happen.  We see evidence of it, broken bones and black eyes–but then it is often “I fell down the stairs”  (when they were really pushed) or “I ran into something” (when it was really a fist that ran into them).

The NFL doesn’t want to deal with lots of issues, concussions, drug use by players, betting, nor domestic violence.  I am not suggesting that the NFL can be a policeman for every player or coach or employee that is part of the NFL but it must do a better job of accountability.

The NFL gets lots of tax breaks both from the federal government and then owners often get tax breaks as they demand that municipalities build new stadiums so they can make more money.  The NFL pays NO federal income tax. That means all the billions it makes is costing you and I lots of money.  And that doesn’t even buy you a ticket to one of the games! The least the NFL can do is be a responsible business and that means zero tolerance for domestic violence and to be transparent in what it does. Especially because we are observing the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, you would think the NFL wouldn’t want to alienate its many women fans.  But I can tell you they have alienated this woman by the way they have acted.  Time to change, Roger that!Ray-Rice_01-300x286Roger-Goodell