NFL Causes Uneasiness in Domestic Violence Discipline

By Makayla Johnson

The Bleacher Report recently wrote an article on a closer look at the NFL’s protocol for athletes who have been involved in domestic violence allegations.

The League came to the conclusion of the Personal Conduct Policy in December 2014, which suspended any player involved in acts “involving assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence… [or] other forms of family violence.” The policy subjects players to a six-game suspension without pay. When thinking about domestic violence in the NFL, one might think of former Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, who was caught on camera punching his then-fiancée Jenay Palmer in the face on an elevator in 2014. Rice was suspended for two games.

Just when the incident involving Rice and Palmer turned heads at the NFL after their faulty decision of a two-game suspension, more domestic violence incidents have surfaced. One, in particular, involved Former Giants Pro Bowl Kicker Josh Brown with his wife Molly Brown. The allegations of over 20 instances of abuse led to a one-game suspension for Brown, until he admitted the abuse in his journal. After admitting this, Brown was finally dropped by the Giants.

The question at large here is: will a six-game suspension truly solve the issue of domestic violence in the homes of athletes? It seems that the NFL is trying to sweep arduous issues like domestic abuse under the rug for the sake of the organization’s image.

“They want to protect their investments,” said Rodney Austin, former Detroit Lions offensive lineman found guilty of domestic abuse in 2014. “They want to protect their stars who either coming into or are in the prime of their career.”

The NFL should have a deeper understanding of the horrors and consequences of domestic abuse and take full action by enforcing a stricter, consistent policy dealing with this issue. There is a point where the health and safety of players and their families should be at the forefront of the League. While this may not be realistic for a $13 billion business, domestic violence is no joke to overlook.