Twenty people every minute are victim to domestic violence crimes committed by athletes and celebrities. According to USA Today, since 2006 law enforcement investigated 50 domestic violence cases regarding NFL players. Although most of us simply love our top sporting team; this behavior makes us wonder what ‘GAME FACE’ does our team really support?
Recent actions by the NFL regarding former Ravens running back Ray Rice have received large attention. When a video was posted by TMZ of the running back punching his fiancée and dragging her limp body out of a casino elevator, major attention was levied on the NFL – a professional football league who reaches millions of sports fans daily. Violence cases involving players such as Adrian Peterson, Ray McDonald, and Greg Hardy, have surfaced for domestic violence, abuse, and or assault. The list goes on and on but the real question is what exactly are the repercussions for these actions? What is the standard punishment by the NFL for players accused of and tried for these crimes? Jennifer Grube, Founder of F.A.C.E.S. a charitable organization committed to end abuse comments, “We are invested in participating in dialogue, long term planning and strategic actions necessary to change the culture of our ‘All American’ sports as TV campaigns only scratch the surface of system of true accountability. ”
The NFL is responsible for regulating the teams and players and in recent years controversial issues regarding domestic violence with athletes has become an even larger issue. It’s a fact that children, and teenagers everywhere idealize these athletes. Thus, shouldn’t the standard of accountability mirror extremely high expectations? This poses many other questions such as, what will happen next? What actions need to be taken to prevent similar future behavior. Perhaps implementing stronger programs to spread awareness of abuse, making the repercussions of individuals accused and tired of for these crimes even greater, and also by increasing knowledge that abuse occurs every day. In order to prevent a culture of abuse in the future, we certainly need well scripted steps developed starting today. We will look forward to hearing about the NFL’s convened committee and are available to help with long range planning. Yet, can each of us can take a step toward ending abuse to encourage a future which is grounded in safety not fear? What step will you take today so that someone else won’t have her ‘GAME FACE’ on?
F.A.C.E.S. Faith, Accountability, Community, Education and Services is a community benefit organization with over 135 years of experience in human services with a vision to end child abuse. They move toward this vision through Counseling, Education, Outreach and Prevention. Uniquely, F.A.C.E.S. is not dependent on federal or state funding thus private support enables the organization to provide quality, client-driven services impacting dozens of children and families in Northeastern USA. For information on how you or your company might become associated with this very worthwhile cause contact visit www.f-a-c-e-s.org today.
Until Next Time,
Marissa Fornaro (BA Candidate) Indiana University of Pennsylvania
F.A.C.E.S. Social Media & Marketing Student Intern