The Virtually Non-Existent Punishment in Sports for Domestic Violence


This picture is just one of dozens you can view after typing in simple search phrases regarding men, domestic violence and professional sports. While I’ve spoken out in the past about my own experiences as a survivor of domestic violence, I still keep an eye on this subject and am disgusted, as most people are when they hear about it.

One of the reasons I’m tackling this subject is yet again, another NFL player, this time, New York Giant’s kicker Josh Brown getting a ONE GAME SUSPENSION for domestic violence. While the hand-smack approach to domestic violence is just one of several reasons why I won’t watch or support the NFL in any way, this latest story just supports my stance.


If you read further into the story, you will find that the “latest incident” involved Brown’s grabbing of his wife’s wrist. It will also reveal that not only has this happened in the past, but he has even violated a protective order. The condoning of domestic violence in the NFL has been made crystal clear with the following statement: “Coach Ben McAdoo said he supported Brown “as a man, a father and a player.” (bold and italics the emphasis of this author).

The message seems to be clear for those of us “on the sidelines” watching the events unfold. Domestic violence can be “OK” IF the person is of importance, IF the person makes a lot of money for a professional sports organization and IF the public will tolerate it. Apparently, all of the above apply. I’m not reading stories regarding, “Decent people who will not tolerate abuse abandoning team with extreme loss of ticket sales.” If that were the case, he would be kicked off the team or at least not suspended WITH pay.


Paul George of the Indiana Pacers showed how this issue is truthfully thought of behind the scenes. This story discusses the tweet in detail and how it drew the anger of the league’s upper crust. Money talks in the world of professional sports apparently. I don’t see professional sports suffering at all in the wake of these stories and it really tests my willpower not to speak out louder because I know I will be met with disdain and dismissal of my comments.


There was a time when I was part of this statistic. While my husband is now deceased, there was a time when his pending arrival home from work would fill me with dread, wondering if he would be drunk when he got home and what kind of mood I would face. For those who have never been slammed up against a wall and spat on, slapped in the face, had a fan hurled at them, called every name in the book and had glass beer bottles thrown at their head (just to reflect on a *few* of my moments in my marriage), there is NO WAY you can truly understand the fear that those who are abused face every day, every hour and sometimes every minute.

In so many cases, I hear that the spouse “recanted” or “changed their story” or “refused to press charges”. I will in no way speculate on the reasons for why they chose this, because I understand. When you are controlled and manipulated, like MANY people are in these situations, sometimes backing off and being quiet is the preferred solution. The hope that “they will change” and “things will get better” often follow promises of getting therapy or never doing that again, etc. In quite a few cases, change never comes. Ever.


So, while I read the stories of my friends who are heading to games or posting about their favorite team, I don’t get angry at them. I do wonder how they can support an organization that CONDONES domestic violence and allows these vicious monsters to return to their million dollar salaries and time in the spotlight. I guess that’s all that matters in the end is the money they produce for the owners and the entertainment they provide to the masses. Well, here’s one woman who will never watch because I see right through them and what I see is repulsive.


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