Domestic Violence in the NFL…Again

Shortly after the Ray Rice scandal where he knocked out his now wife in an elevator, another player was in the spotlight for domestic violence.  Adrian Peterson, an extremely talented NFL player, and the star running back on the Minnesota Vikings, was accused of beating his son, apparently with a stick.  Some may say Peterson is one of the best, if not the best, running back in the league.  Not only is this another domestic violence case to hit the NFL, but this one is sadly child abuse.

Peterson had his child staying with him in Texas.  He allegedly sent text messages to the chid’s mother making light of the fact that he had abused the child.  When the child saw a doctor after returning to his mother, who lives in Minnesota, Peterson was quickly taken into custody. He got released on a $15,000 bond, and was indicted for child abuse.  His lawyers said that he loves his son and this was his way of discipling his child.  However, the other side of the lawsuit saw this as abuse, not normal discipline.  Peterson recently had to deal with the tragedy of a child passing away, so the public was shocked that he was the one being accused of such a cruel act against one of his other children.

Peterson voluntarily testified before a grand jury for several hours and cooperated fully with authorities.  He recently accepted a plea deal so that he could avoid jail time.  He plead no contest, and will have to pay a fine of $4,000, do 80 hours of community service, and be placed on probation.

The Minnesota Vikings suspended Peterson when this situation was first brought to their attention.  However, there has been a lot of debate as to whether he (and Ray Rice for that matter) should be allowed to come back and play football.  Some people say that they should not be allowed to play because of what they have done, and others say that they should be allowed to come back.  Many NFL players have gone to prison, served their time, and came back to play in the league.  These cases are unfortunately no different from that.  They went before a judge, got their sentences, and now they expect to be allowed to play football again.  It is not set in stone if Peterson will be back this season, but the NFL Players Association supposedly wants to let him have the opportunity to play again sometime in the near future.

The NFL gets the stamp of good guy for handling the outcome of this case the way they did.  Allowing Peterson the opportunity to come and play again is the right thing to do.  Although he did a terrible thing, if he faces his consequences, then whether the public agrees with it or not, letting him play is the fair way to handle this situation.

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The Cincinnati Bengals Help Fight Cancer

The Cincinnati Bengals have been in the news a lot lately, but for very good reasons.  Devon Still, a defensive tackle, has been struggling with things much more important than football.  His daughter, Leah, is currently fighting pediatric cancer.  She is four years old, and was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in June.  She had a softball-sized tumor that had shrunk due to multiple rounds of chemotherapy.  Her surgery to remove the tumor took place on September 25, and according to Still, the doctor was able to remove all of the tumor.

The bad news didn’t end with his daughter’s cancer diagnosis; Still was cut from the Bengals.  However, the Bengals did something no one ever thought would happen: they re-signed Still almost immediately after cutting him, and placed him to the practice squad.  Their reasoning for doing this was so that he could have a salary of $100,000 to help pay for his daughter’s medical bills.

Things continued to get better for Still from there.  He was soon promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.  This increased his salary to $405,000, the minimum for active NFL players, but more than he was getting on the practice squad.  Still was always covered by the Bengals medical insurance, even when he was on the practice squad, but he told ESPN that the medical bills for his daughter could reach up to $1,000,000.

The Bengals have been trying to help in any way they can.  The team also announced that they would be selling Stills jerseys and the proceeds would be going to pediatric cancer.  His jersey became the fastest selling jersey in the team’s history.  The coach of the New Orleans Saints, Sean Peyton, purchased 100 jerseys to show his support and to help out.  The sales from the jerseys totaled more than $400,000.

The Cincinnati Bengals get the stamp of good guy for all they have done to help Devon Still and his daughter.

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The NFL Says “No More” to Domestic Violence

In the aftermath of the scandals with NFL players being involved with the domestic violence, the league is taking a stand to show that they are against it.  Despite the heat that the league took following the Ray Rice situation, the NFL has taken steps to show that they will not tolerate domestic violence of any kind.  Many people may have heard of the No More Campaign.  It started with many well-known celebrities being featured in a PSA saying common “excuses” used to defend domestic violence.  Some of the celebrities involved with this campaign are Mariska Hargitay (who helped start the campaign), Christopher Meloni, and Ice-T of Law and Order: SVU, as well as Katie Couric, actress and comedian Amy Poehler, actress Courteney Cox, and many more.

As this campaign began to spread, the NFL quickly jumped on board and supported it.  They have put together a PSA of their own in support of the campaign.  It features a number of players and men of the NFL, and it will be aired during commercials when games are on.  It is a powerful PSA that shows that even though there has been trouble with domestic violence around they league, they will tolerate it no more.

The NFL, and all of the players involved, get a stamp of good guy for taking part in the No More Campaign.

To see the PSA featuring NFL players, click below:

To learn more about the No More Campaign, click the link below:

http://nomore.org/

A Crucial Catch

October is known everywhere as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  You’ll see players wearing pink during the games every Sunday for the entire month.  However, this isn’t the only way that players and the NFL help support the fight against breast cancer.  The NFL Players Association has teamed up with the American Cancer Society to create the campaign known as A Crucial Catch .

This campaign stresses the importance of getting screened for breast cancer, especially for women over 40.  The American Cancer Society has a program called the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity, also known as CHANGE.  Over the past three years, these CHANGE grants have helped educate 72,000 women on why breast cancer screening is so important.  These grants have also allowed more than 10,000 women to get screened for free or very little cost.

This year, on October 25, the NFL is hosting its first-ever breast cancer event that will take place nationwide.  A Crucial Catch Day will be a day filled with providing education on breast cancer.  There will also bee free or low-cost screenings for women near communities that need the extra help.

A Crucial Catch is all about spreading awareness for this disease.  Throughout the entire month of October fans will see players, coaches, and refs wearing pink ribbons on game day.  Players who have to remain on the sideline will be wearing pink hats, and there will be pink towels provided for every player.  The footballs used during the game will come with a pink ribbon on them, and there will be a pink ribbon on every field.  Game-used footballs and game-worn pink apparel will be auctioned off and all of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.  Any and all proceeds from purchases of Pink NFL apparel will also go to the American Cancer Society.  Many NFL teams will also honor breast cancer survivors by having them come onto the field before the game or during halftime.

The NFL’s efforts to help spread awareness about breast cancer and to help raise money for the American Cancer Society earns them the stamp of Good Guy.

To learn more about A Crucial Catch click the links below:

http://www.nfl.com/pink

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/CoachesvsCancer/CVCCY13National?pg=informational&fr_id=63130&type=fr_informational&sid=190218

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Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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(The links above are also my sources for this post)

The NFL’s Epic Fail in the Ray Rice Scandal

By now, whenever someone hears the name Ray Rice, one thing comes to mind: the elevator video.  A person doesn’t need to be a football fan to know what happened with Ray Rice and the woman who is now his wife in the video of them in the elevator at Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  So many questions surfaced after that video became public: Why is she still with him?  What prompted the fight?  Why is he not in jail?  And, most importantly, Did the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens know about this?  While the NFL and the Ravens made statements saying that they had no idea what really happened until the video was made public, there are rumors that this is not true.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has taken a lot of heat since the release of the video.  While the Ravens instantly cut Rice from the team and league suspended him indefinitely once the video went public, there is word that Goodell, and the Ravens, were aware of exactly what took place long before anyone else.  These rumors have turned this situation into a complete disaster and they have threatened Goodell’s credibility as the NFL commissioner.

Goodell and the Ravens have done all they can to convince the fans and the public that they were not aware of what really happened that night.  This seems like it is completely untrue, due to the fact that they were alerted of Rice’s arrest that night in Atlantic City; They knew he was taken into custody for “domestic violence.”  It is rumored that the actions in the video were kept under raps because it would be a public relations disaster for the Baltimore Ravens.  However, whether the Ravens and Goodell knew about Rice’s actions or not, this situation turned into a huge PR disaster anyway.

As soon as Rice was arrested, a statement should have been made to the public regarding the situation.  The details wouldn’t have needed to be explained in detail, but if Goodell and the Ravens had made a statement in February when this took place, it would be saving them a lot of aggravation now.  Also, Rice should have been immediately suspended when word of his arrest reached the league.  However, Rice was not suspended, or cut from his team, until the public release of the video, making the entire situation look like the NFL was trying to cover up the incident and the extent of their knowledge about what happened.

The only positive thing that the NFL did in this situation was that they allowed any fans who owned a Rice jersey to exchange it, free of charge, for a different Ravens jersey of their choice.

Only Goodell and the Ravens will ever really know the truth behind this entire situation, but in my opinion they get the stamp of bad guy for how they handled themselves with the public.

Click the link below to see the elevator video for yourself (if you haven’t already seen it), but use caution because it is very disturbing.

http://www.tmz.com/2014/09/08/ray-rice-elevator-knockout-fiancee-takes-crushing-punch-video/