NFL’s Domestic Abuse Actions Drop the Ball

Anthony Raimondi, Reporter

The beginning of this NFL season was a rough one for the commissioner, Roger Goodell. With an entire league in turmoil over domestic violence cases, Goodell’s handling of the issue led to criticisms of his decision making, the influence of the public, and, even worse, allegations of a cover up.. The fans are growing impatient to hear the facts, and with more and more players and cases coming to surface regarding domestic violence,the fans don’t know whom to look to for truth..

The commissioner was initially criticized for his lenient punishment of Ray Rice, only two games. Then the video of his assault on his fiancee became public, and Goodell issued a stiffer sentence. Cue Adrian Peterson’s recent domestic violence case in which he hit his son with a switch, and five other cases, and the league has a lot of problems. Goodell’s response was to have no real response: Minnesota Vikings star running back Peterson and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were on a special commissioner’s exemption list and are being paid while they go through the legal process. Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list, meaning he can’t play for the team again this season. Ray McDonald, a defensive end for San Francisco, continues to practice and play while being investigated on suspicion of domestic violence.

Since these cases have come to light, groups such as the National Organization of Women and league partners and sponsors have come down hard on the NFL to be more responsive in the handling of these cases. Congress is also watching the NFL to see how they react to these conditions.

My reaction to this giant scandal seems like Roger goodell is just making stuff up as he goes because he was caught in a lie. I In the Rice situation, it’s possible that Goodell had seen the video all along and only acted after the public reacted. With Peterson, he dismissed him for the season only after the public had it’s say. What’s clear is that Goodell wants  wants the NFL not lose any profit. Thus, he keeps the scandals out of the way until it’s clear that they are getting in the way.

I won’t defend Rice’s actions, but looking back at it now a few months after all this happened, Rice is still with his wife and they are both trying to work towards making things right between them and trying to settle this dispute with the NFL. The law should be the one punishing him. Goodell’s punishment is driven by the NFL potentially receiving a bad rep–not morality, especially considering he might have seen the two months before the NFL claimed.When players do something that doesn’t involve the NFL, there punishment should come from somewhere other than the NFL.None of these cases happened on that team’s time. All cases were involved in the offseason. So they should not affect the players in their careers. If the NFL feels it necessary to punish those who represent the NFL poorly, then the league at least owes it to fans to handle the cases better. That means being honest about what is exactly happening at the time the case occurs and making a decision, not waiting for months for the publicity of the case to either disappear or inform their decision.