In midst of all of the controversy going on in professional football it is easy to get lost in the real problem. Men do not see women as equal. Multiple NFL stars are facing criminal charges and legal investigation in their roles with Domestic Violence and lack of respect towards women.
Greg Hardy who is a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers violently assaulted his then girlfriend at the time of the incident which involved him threatening to kill her, pulling her by her hair, and violently hitting her.
Ray McDonald is a defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers who also assaulted his pregnant fiancé. Although there is still legal investigations that is deciding what his charges will be, it still does not make the situation okay.
NFL stars are seen as idols to children. In fact 45 percent of the NFL fan base is made up of women who sit down on Sundays and watch NFL games from morning to evening. With women being a large part of the NFL fan base, shouldn't the league try to accommodate their fans? Shouldn't a league that has a $10 billion dollar revenue try to show the slightest amount of respect for women?
As a young woman, this type of behavior from men who have the chance to live out their dreams while making huge salaries is unacceptable. I love the NFL, I love it just as much as any other man I know, if not more. I will always watch games and try to enjoy them. It is so hard for me to reconcile my beliefs on domestic violence and women equality to the league that has been such a prominent part of my life. Why should I continue to pledge some sort of allegiance to a team or organization thdat recognize a large portion of their fans?
When children ask why their favorite player isn't in the starting lineup what will be the explanation? These NFL stars are seen as heroes and idols to kids. Children look up to players and see them as role models. Thankfully majority of parents don't want their children to grow up to be aggressive and abusive.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has helped his team with playoff victories, a Super Bowl victory, and been a huge part of the running game that has helped the Ravens with success. In February 2014 Rice violently attacked his then fiancé Janay Palmer inside of an elevator casino.
When the NFL found out about Rice's charges he was sentenced to a two game suspension. The NFL sent the message that if you beat a woman it is a two game suspension but around that time during NFL offseason Cleveland Brown's Josh Gordon tested positive for marijuana use and was sentenced to a full year suspension.
TMZ Sports later released a video inside of an elevator that shows Rice attacking Palmer. He knocked his then fiancé out, brutally socked her in the face, and dragged her out of an elevator since she was unconscious from the violent hits and could not walk out on her own.
After the video was released the Baltimore Ravens released Ray Rice from the team, and later NFL Commission Roger Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely. The Baltimore Ravens also released him from his contract.
In 2010 Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual misconduct. A criminal case was not pursued but when the case was released to the public the allegations were sickening. Roethlisberger was accused of following a young woman into a bathroom and forcing her to have sex with him. In the police reports the woman recalled that she told Roethlisberger, "No, this is not okay, and he then had sex with me. He said it was okay. He then left without saying anything."
Roethlisberger's suspension for this incident was six games and issued by the NFL for a personal conduct violation.
Recently Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged for child abuse and child negligence towards his own son. Peterson used a switch to discipline his four year old son which left bloody marks and bruises on the four year old.
I believe that there are certain ways to discipline a child. Back in the day it was seen as okay to spank your child, hit your kid, and try your best to teach them a lesson. In present society it is seen as wrong, because it is an awful form of discipline a child. Four year olds don't know better and I don't believe the way Peterson tried to discipline his child was right.
Although these child abuse charges were filed the Vikings deactivated Peterson and placed him on the Commissioner's Exempt/Permission and he will only be allowed to play with the permission of the commissioner.
In my opinion these players are the worst of the worst and they are making an awful name for the NFL. I love football and I won't stop watching it. I'll still sit down on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays to watch games. I'll still set my Fantasy Football lineups. I won't boycott the NFL but my views and admiration for a league I once loved is no longer there. It is so unfortunate that some players are representing this league with their off the field violent actions compared to the players who have gone out of their way to help communities and fans.