The NFL is in hot water now with the current accounts of domestic violence taking place. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been in the news for months now, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings is now facing charges of child abuse, and Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers is facing assault charges as well.
Many have questioned the NFL’s methods in the handling of the situations; and now, news is that Congress may be stepping in to get the issues resolved.
In this interview with Kirsten Gillibrand, she declares that the method in which the NFL handled these situations was “awful” and “outrageous.”
“They had a player who admitted to beating his wife (was his-then fiancé). They had video of him dragging her out of an elevator. There was nothing left to determine. That player should have been fired immediately. So, we are now looking to the commissioner to enforce a zero-tolerance policy.”
One thing to observe in this statement is, where does due process take effect? Isn’t that what our country is founded on? Despite whether he is guilty or not, he has the right to a fair trial.
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There is no doubt that what he is doing in the elevator on camera is wrong; but just because he is in the NFL doesn’t mean he isn’t given the same Constitutional rights as others who break the law, regardless of the crime.
NFL Players Association president Eric Winston is warning that the public must avoid rushing to judgement just because a player has been arrested:
“I’d let the court system and process run its course. I don’t want to get into a world where we’re snapping to judgment, and that’s where we’re all the sudden saying, ‘Oh well, since he was arrested before, he’s automatically guilty of it.’ I don’t think that’s the right world to live in,” Winston said.
Gillibrand in her interview went on to clarify what the larger issue is:
“[It’s] this institutional support, this chronic institutional support, whether it’s the NFL, whether it’s the U.S. military, whether it’s the college campus, where the institution gathers and supports their star player, their golden boy, whomever it may be, without any regard for the victim and survivors, without any regard for women. …How are women being valued?”
Winston continued in his statement by saying that in spite of a few guys in the NFL behaving this way, 99 percent of the NFL is still doing great things for the community and others. He also said that the players would see discipline for their actions.
“I don’t want anybody to think that we’re trying to cover guys and make sure that they don’t get disciplined in any way. We are not against discipline. … All we’re for is a fair process.”