A Saddened and Angry NFL Fan in Light of Recent Domestic Violence Issues


Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back

Ray Rice

(27) runs with the ball during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the NFL. The reputation of the league has been dragged down through the mud, and frankly, with good reason. Ever since the Ray Rice incident played out the way it did, there have been cases of domestic violence coming from everywhere. From Ray Rice (in no particular order), to Greg Hardy, to Ray McDonald, to Jonathan Dwyer, and Adrian Peterson, domestic violence is becoming as regular in the NFL as penalties, first downs, and touchdowns.

Not only is it domestic violence, but in the case of Adrian Peterson, there is child abuse as part of the discussion as well. Yesterday it comes out that a petition has been filed by the county attorney in Minnesota for a protective order on behalf of Adrian Peterson’s son, the victim in his case.  The whole situation is getting out of hand.

The allegations against Jonathan Dwyer just sent me over the edge.  He allegedly head butted his wife over her refusal to give him sex!  You have to be kidding me.

It all saddens me and angers me. It angers me as a person, and it saddens me as a football fan.

The issue of domestic violence angers me beyond belief, to start. No man should ever be lifting a finger to a woman or child. Period. No matter what they THINK the reason is, there is NO reason. I have always made it clear to my wife that she should never be afraid to make me angry, that I wouldn’t even DREAM of striking her. I have given to charity in support of battered women shelters. It’s an important issue.

But then, we have something even worse, HURTING A CHILD! A CHILD! Does that make you a big “man”, Adrian Peterson? Hurting someone who can’t defend himself? How dare you? I have read that Adrian is taking classes to learn how to better discipline as a parent, but that isn’t good enough for me. Maybe he needs children taken away from him, then he will learn very quickly. There are lots of parents out there that want children, maybe some swift action on the part of the state of Minnesota will teach A.P. a lesson he won’t forget.

Sep 14, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer (20) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Giants during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I am not just a New York Jets fan. I love this game. I have loved everything about this game for a long time. For four months out of the year for the last nearly 30 years, this game has brought me great enjoyment. It is a game that is cerebral, strategic, yet violent, and every bit of it is compelling.

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Through the years, I have grown up loving the players in the league as well. Again, not just Jets’ players, but all players around the league. OK, maybe not Patriots’ players, but everyone else. There is still that kid inside that looks up to athletes. Yes, I am 37 years old, and far from naive. Most athletes are not perfect. But I think there is that kid in all of us that looks up to the athletes they cheer for. I know I do.

To see these athletes committing such heinous acts of domestic violence is disturbing. Knowing that the participants in the game that I love can behave in this manner, makes the kid inside very sad. I looked up to a lot of these players. It hurts my feelings to know that many of these players are bad people.

Kids wear these peoples’ names on their backs. With that comes more than just dollar signs. There is responsibility. The players have to understand that they have a duty to behave like gentlemen. Kids look up to them. The players have forgotten it, and they need to remember really quickly.

I love the NFL. I always will love the NFL. I have spent a long time defending this great game. Some day I am going to have a child. I want to be able to look that child in the eye and talk about their being roll models. My child may ask me which jersey they should wear, and actually want me to answer them.

It becomes harder to do every day. And I am sad.