NFL Domestic Violence Policy: Thoughts

Chris Schisler

The Ray Rice domestic violence story dominated offseason headlines; now the public outcry has led to stiffer sanctions. Ray Rice was given a two game suspension for knocking his fiancé (now wife) unconscious. It was a status quo supporting punishment.
That is what sparked such a furious frustration with the NFL’s domestic violence policy. The public thought this was too lenient for his actions.

The new penalties are much harsher. The first offense will now earn a player a 6 game suspension. The second offense will banish the player from the NFL. The penalties have pleased the screaming feminists and the people who love to be upset by everything. The penalties should be stiffer than they were, but this is a textbook over correction.

I have no issue with the 6 game suspension for domestic violence. I however cannot stand the second offense being a career death sentence. Violence is a serious issue no matter who it effects or who instigates it. It should be taken seriously. Though is a two strikes and your out policy fair?

Not all domestic violence is created equal. Every case is equally important as I mentioned but not every case is severe. What Ray Rice did was unacceptable in a severe way. Nobody can dispute that. But domestic violence often gets into those sticky grey areas. Sometimes the violence goes two ways equally and blaming one party is not fair. Sometimes people simply cry wolf, dragging an innocent man through the mud. Its important to examine every case with great attention to justice. Everyone involved deserves this. Blanket punishments (one size fits all) for domestic violence is not fair.

This is a severe overreaction. I understand it. I appreciate that we had to change the current policy. It just seems like the NFL stepped too far in the opposite direction. It seems like an insincere knee jerk reaction to get people to shut up. Well, if it were not for me their mission would have been a success.

Do the current cases get ruled on with the old rules or the new? Do players who already had one violation face the potential lifetime ban from the league? Does the player have to be convicted or is the tarnishing of their name (and therefore the league) enough? These are all questions Roger Goodell and company must address.

One of these days a popular face of a franchise is going to have two offenses. It could easily happen. The league won’t want to kick that hypothetical player out of the league. The NFL would be stuck in its own rules

So in summation this is a couple steps too many in the right direction. Their original punishments were awfully light. These punishments are awfully harsh. I think the NFL needs to find the middle. .

One comment

  • This a a difficylt sibject. I would agree that abuse can go both ways and I would argue that any abuse is intolerable. Dont think it is a femminist issue.

    Rice was penalized under rules in place which were enforced. I do think it was light but that was the precedent. While I do agree with the harsher penalty I feel that the nfl looks foolish in when and how they changed the penalty.

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