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 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.