Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

A Small Post About Domestic Violence and Sports

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Domestic violence, child abuse, and professional football. Who ever would’ve thought these words would go together?

That is, if you haven’t been paying attention for the past few weeks. Because a number of players — Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Jonathan Dwyer, and Ray Rice — all have been prominent in the news lately, mostly because they’ve been violent with a child or girlfriend. All have serious problems, and all have now been told their services are no longer required (though three of them, Peterson, Hardy, and Dwyer, have effectively been put on paid administrative leave).

However, I can’t help but notice one player with a current arrest on his record for domestic violence who is still being allowed to play: San Francisco’s DE Ray McDonald. McDonald was arrested on 9/1/14 in San Jose for domestic violence, and has not yet been charged . . . and it’s because he hasn’t been charged (yet) that the 49ers will not bench him with pay like the others.

Why am I only singling out professional football players? Well, they’re the ones who’ve been in the news lately.

But to be fair, domestic violence happens in all sports. Even my favorite sports teams are not immune to this: Milwaukee Brewers closer Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez has had run-ins with the law in the past regarding his own behavioral issues, and so did RB Ahman Green of the Green Bay Packers. (Green is now retired, while “K-Rod” has apparently reformed.)

For that matter, domestic violence happens on a regular basis throughout the world. Because our society as a whole has a problem. The statistic I’ve seen spouted a lot on TV is that one in four women will fall victim to domestic violence — and some men will, too.

But things do not need to stay bad forever.

Treatment works, you see, if someone truly wants to change. Some current NFL players, like Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears and Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, have gone into psychiatric treatment and/or anger management counseling, and have become advocates for abused women (and men) instead.

Change is possible.

(Yes. It really is.)

But if you read nothing else in this blog, please read this: Domestic violence is a lot more important than any game. So if you feel that you are in danger, or have been abused, please get yourself to a counselor or at least call the national domestic abuse hotline:  1-800-799-SAFE. Or visit this website: http://www.ncadv.org/ — that’s the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Do it today. Because your life won’t wait.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

September 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

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