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Did the NFL drop the ball on domestic abuse issue?

While the National Football League's main focus is on playing games, some have felt that it had an opportunity to make a statement concerning a serious social issue. When NFL running back Ray Rice was arrested for domestic abuse, there was much speculation as to how the NFL would respond. Football fans everywhere, including those in New York, may have waited to hear what penalties he would face.

When the commissioner announced that Rice would be suspended for two games, it is possible that many were surprised at the decision. Domestic violence is a growing concern throughout the nation, and seeing that a man who has the potential to influence thousands of young people received a relatively light suspension could possibly send the wrong message. Media outlets nationwide featured the footage that allegedly showed the football player dragging his future wife out of an elevator. He was accused of hitting her and rendering her unconscious.

Violence against women in New York has become an alarming problem. Of the 119,300 plus incidences of domestic violence reported in 2012, 27 percent of the incidents were perpetrated by a significant other, with 80 percent of those victims being women. Almost 60 percent of females older than 15 who were murdered in 2012 were killed by significant others.

The NFL has handed down heavy suspensions for players who have been found in violation of the league's drug policy as well as a five-game suspension for a player who was not yet active in the NFL. Clearly, the commissioner is concerned about the conduct of its representatives; but this time, the suspension may not make much of an impression on those young fans who are watching closely. Family violence is a serious matter and those who are struggling to cope with it may seek assistance from various resources who are best equipped to handle family problems, which could include getting information concerning protection orders and other legal means for ensuring that any further domestic abuse is prevented.

Source: dailygazette.com, "Editorial: NFL fumbles chance on domestic violence", , July 29, 2014

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