The NFL and domestic abuse

There’s something about this furore over domestic abuse by NFL players that I’m not really getting.

OK, sure, someone who beats up their spouse should get investigated and possibly* charged and tried. Fine with that. But what the hell’s all this about banning them from being football players?

Do we ban an accountant from the profession if she dumps a saucepan on her husband’s head?

Sure, employers can have whatever they like in their employment contracts. “If you’re convicted of theft you’re fired” is just as fair as “if you’re convicted of domestic abuse”.

But clearly I’m missing something very important as I cannot for the life of me understand what’s going on with this “crisis”. Why is there this vast public outcry over specifically football players?

* No, really, not all incidents that are worth investigating are worth having a trial, let alone a conviction, over. Thus possibly.

37 comments on “The NFL and domestic abuse

  1. They are trying to avoid mentioning that the domestic abuse was from a black man. So, saying this is an NFL matter is a way of steering the narrative back to blaming a white guy.

  2. It’s because the court punishment isn’t sufficient in the eyes of the RadFems, so they use Twitterstorms to demand extra-special punishment.

  3. Perhaps it’s because professional athletes are ‘performers’ and part of their value as performers is that fans identify with them and have an inordinate interest in their private lives.

    I don’t see American Football fans (or any other football fans, to be honest) being that fussy about the private life of footballers.

    What if a video of Richard beating up Judy in a lift had come to light?

  4. Football players aren’t the same as accountants. They’re role models for our young; to fans they’re the equivalent of royalty. Thus they’re held to a higher standard, and rightly so.

  5. The guy’s girlfriend is still with him. She has in effect said it’s a private matter and unfair that (i) other people are interferring and (ii) that he’s going to lose his livlihood.

    This is the dynamic that the feminist militia cannot stand. Relationships are complex, emotions are complex, couples argue, women can be as violent as men, in the heat of the moment tempers can fray and couples say and do things they later regret. There are men and women who accept that as part of their relationship, not an attractive part, not something they revel in but something they accept. One result of the ‘zero tolerance’ on domestic violence is a reluctance to report it from those who fear that their spouse will be imprisoned for something which they don’t think is sufficient reason to end a relationship.

    If a couple want to stay together, surely counselling and anger management courses are a better bet than arrest and loss of a job.

    Not condoning violence at all. In fact, I go even further then the feminists as rather than “end violence against women” I’m in favour of “end violence”. I just don’t think witch hunts and knee-jerk reactions are the best way of doing that.

  6. “Perhaps it’s because professional athletes are ‘performers’ and part of their value as performers is that fans identify with them and have an inordinate interest in their private lives.

    I don’t see American Football fans (or any other football fans, to be honest) being that fussy about the private life of footballers.”

    Indeed. But the game the feminists play is to lean on the businesses to convince them that it is by doing things like creating social media campaigns against it.

    A footballer in England was recently released from prison after a rape charge and they had someone from the club and from a feminist group. And she talked about how many people were protesting and the chap from the club pointed out that that was more people than turned up for a home game.

    And the reason people do this sort of thing is because it sometimes works. Sometimes a company gets fooled into doing what pressure groups tell them, despite the fact that their customers don’t want it.

  7. Actually a criminal conviction can justify instant dismissal in a lot of places. Almost certainly does in the USA, where they have a lower level of employee protection than in Europe. But it’s up to the employer. And if the customers of that employer (in this case also radfems etc,) wish to pressurise the employer into making a decision, that’s their right too.

    @Andrew. A man should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, hit his female partner. Except possibly in self defence. Or with consent if she’s kinky that way. But not in the course of a marital row. Sorry if that’s old fashioned.

  8. Andrew M’s right: it’s because they’re role models for some reason. Never understood it myself. We all remember that the kids who were brilliant at team sports at school were despicable arseholes. Why the assumption that the ones who get rewarded the most for being despicable arseholes will grow up into good people? Incentives matter.

  9. Andrew M,

    “They’re role models for our young”

    No they’re not. If they were, we’d have had a lot more blokes in this generation gambling, drinking and shagging Miss World.

  10. BiG,

    > A man should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, hit his female partner.

    I agree, but the idea that this imperative is one-way is based on a false assumption. Yes, in general, men are stronger than women so can beat them in a fair fight, so men shouldn’t use that advantage. But that assumes that the person you hit is going to hit back. The reason domestic abuse is so nasty is that it involves hitting someone who loves you and so does not want to hurt you, so will never hit back. So the advantage doesn’t actually go to the stronger party; it goes to whichever party is willing to do the hitting.

  11. Sure, employers can have whatever they like in their employment contracts. “If you’re convicted of theft you’re fired” is just as fair as “if you’re convicted of domestic abuse”.

    I’m not sure that’s legal. Employers can only put stuff into their contracts which do not contravene the employee’s statutory rights, i.e. they cannot put in a clause saying an employee must agree to work in a damp, unlit office.

    I think a company would have to prove a connection between the crime and the employee which would have an adverse effect on the employee’s performance (e.g. being sent to jail!) or the company’s image. And I guess this is where the football clubs come in: with all the sponsorship money, having a player convicted of domestic abuse on your payroll probably isn’t good, and they’d argue that their employment is not just to play sport, it is also to represent the club in a certain way.

  12. Presumably the NFL (in its wisdom) has worked out that a good number of the customers it wishes to serve take a dim view about domestic violence. The NFL is making a legitimate business decision to cut ties with a player who has upset the paying customers. A legitimate thing to do to protect the brand values etc, especially in an entertainment-type industry.

    The NFL can’t ban him from football altogether. He is presumably free to play with in any rival league, if they’ll have him. Not sure if there is one in the US – there was the USFL for a while. And there was a professional league in Europe. And there is the Canadian league.

  13. “Employers can only put stuff into their contracts which do not contravene the employee’s statutory rights…”

    True, but in the US employees have few statutory rights.

  14. It is nothing more than propaganda – the NFL is high-profile, therefore so are its players, therefore a target for uber-feminists.

    Yes, dear, I know we are all guilty by mere fact of having a penis. Now do go play.

  15. To do with public shaming and maintaining feminist influence.

    Consider the campaign to punish that Oxford Union Chairman by maknig him resign from his role before rape charges had even been laid. In the event they couldn’t be justified.

    Or consider people who prove to be innocent who are remanded in custody anyway.

  16. Compare and contrast, as someone else has pointed out, with Hope Solo. Presently awaiting charges for hitting her sister and nephew at a family do. Must have been a barrel of laughs.

    No one is calling for her to be fired.

    (And it can’t be because footballers are entertainers. After all, fans love a bad guy in the wrestling. Nor can it be because they are role models. Because, you know, Michael Vick. And the fact that the NFL and college football have had to chase Black players because that is where they think the talent is, probably rightly, but so many of them are, unfortunately, thugs with criminal tendencies.)

  17. The Stigler – “No they’re not. If they were, we’d have had a lot more blokes in this generation gambling, drinking and shagging Miss World.”

    Turns out that one reason so many of the young aren’t doing those things is because so many of them are Muslim. Britain being well down the road to becoming Lebanon – a violence ridden sh!thole busy with a Muslim majority busy eliminating the indigenous Christians.

    However among the White yoof, if they aren’t shagging supermodels it is certainly not because they aren’t trying. Because they are doing all those things.

  18. B.I.G.

    “a man should never,ever, ever, ever hit his femaie partner”

    Should a woman ever ever ever hit her male partner?

    If a man happens to have a male partner is it OK if he hits him?

    What about women who have women partners?

    I’m interested in knowing if you think there’s a difference and why.

    I’d prefer it if no-one got hit but we don’t have a perfect world so what should we do if someone does hit someone?

  19. The crime is political. If a man murders another man, he is out in X years and reintegrates into society.

    If a footballer commits a rape, or even hit his partner, he must never, ever be allowed to work again.

    It’s the moral consistency and fairness I like most of all.

  20. Rob – “If a footballer commits a rape, or even hit his partner, he must never, ever be allowed to work again.”

    Not commits rape. If he is accused of rape. Look how liberals treat men falsely accused of rape:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/09/false_rape_accusations_why_must_be_pretend_they_never_happen.2.html

    “It’s the moral consistency and fairness I like most of all.”

    What our Mao-loving 1968-er ruling class forgets is that 1984 was a warning. Not a textbook. Just because someone commits a double plus ungood thought crime is no reason to hound everyone who might behave in a basically decent way towards him.

  21. @Andrew, the women get one less “ever”. Basically, no one should ever hit anyone (unless that other person started the physical fight).

  22. This place is a cess pit.

    The player we’re talking about is on a CCTV video punching his fiancee unconscious in a lift. It’s a level of violence well beyond wearing your dinner.

    The NFL, which has been marketing itself to women, has taken a commercial decision that it will make more money if it stops employing him. I don’t think that’s because radical feminists make up a significant part of its audience.

  23. “Britain being well down the road to becoming Lebanon – a violence ridden sh!thole busy with a Muslim majority busy eliminating the indigenous Christians.”

    Golly, I clearly haven’t been taking our situation seriously enough. Either that, or you’re just an idiot.

  24. “Do we ban an accountant from the profession if she dumps a saucepan on her husband’s head?”

    Ignoring crimes of dishonesty where accountants are routinely disbarred even for trivial sums, actually, yes we do (or at least the major accounting bodies do – by way of exclusion from membership). But only if the dumping of the saucepan is deemed serious enough to constitute bringing the profession into disrepute.

  25. PaulB, you forgot to write ‘his then fiancée’ – because despite the attack, she went on to marry him. Presumably calculating that the money was worth a little pain.

    And if that’s HER attitude tomDV, I fail to see why MINE should be less forgiving…

  26. BiG’s earlier point on US employment law is correct. I’ve been in several firms there where a criminal conviction would have lost me my security clearance & hence job.

    I’d go a bit further than him on male restraint: a man should never, ever, attack ANY woman (although he can restrain her to defend himself or others).

  27. JeremyT: You can simplify it even further: A person should never, ever, attack any person. Doesn’t matter what their gender, race, or sexual orientation might be.

  28. It was a major, major mistake for the league to ever get involved with suspending/banning players for off the field activity. It should have been left to the legal system and the teams – IOW, if the Ravens wanted to drop Ray Rice because they want their players to be role models (LOL) that’s fine but he should still be free to pursue his trade in some other city where role modeling isn’t so highly prized. Now that the league office has set itself up as the arbiter of player morals and off-duty behavior, they’ve made themselves a target for every social activist group with an axe to grind.

  29. The NFL believes it can grow the business by appealing to women. It believes that pandering to “women’s groups” will help accomplish that. I think they picked up a Tar Baby.

  30. Andrew M, good point but I wouldn’t go that far. How about making the category ‘anyone weaker’? That way we get to fight equals & above.

  31. Vicky Pryce: described in court as repeatedly punching her then husband Chris Huhne in the face. Also, lying jailbird. Gets job from government.

    Emma Roberts, actress, dating actor Evan Peters. Police called to domestic. Peters has both bruising and bite marks. No charges brought. Roberts career harm: zero.

    *shrugs*

  32. To be fair to Vicky Pryce – virtually the whole county wanted to smack the toad on his jaw, it’s just she had means and opportunity, as well as motive…

  33. PaulB – “This place is a cess pit.”

    Meh

    “The player we’re talking about is on a CCTV video punching his fiancee unconscious in a lift. It’s a level of violence well beyond wearing your dinner.”

    Sure. But she is fine with it. She did go on to marry the guy. Suppose that they had been filmed in the privacy of their own bedroom engaging in a little BDSM. In the course of which he knocked her out. Should he be fired then?

    “The NFL, which has been marketing itself to women, has taken a commercial decision that it will make more money if it stops employing him. I don’t think that’s because radical feminists make up a significant part of its audience.”

    That is true. Except the NFL does not employ him. They have taken a commercial decision not to let his club employ him. Fine. Within their rights. And I think they are idiots. For pandering to people who cannot, in the end, be pandered to. The Left as a whole and the feminist Left in particular is never going to be fine with the NFL. Being weak and caving into them is just going to make them despise the NFL more. Once a prison b!tch, always a prison b!tch.

    Yes, Rice should not have hit his girlfriend. Although we do not know what provocation took place, nor the context known only to those two in the relationship. But then the punishment ought to be what happens in Court. If Rice’s off field behaviour has no impact on his on field performance, I do not see what business it is of anyone else. We want to live in a liberal society. We used to live in a liberal society. That society used to tolerate even wife beaters. Not demand that everyone shun a man, and destroy his career, simply because he is accused. This is just shades of the House Un-American Activities Committee (which is ironic because I am fine with what they did).

  34. Squander Two – “The reason domestic abuse is so nasty is that it involves hitting someone who loves you and so does not want to hurt you, so will never hit back. So the advantage doesn’t actually go to the stronger party; it goes to whichever party is willing to do the hitting.”

    The counter to this is that women who are tough enough to be police officers and Marines should be tough enough to cope with a little domestic violence. Although, of course, they are not tough enough. Didn’t some 16 year old passer by have to help two policewoman arrest a man this week?

    So the real counter to this is that you are assuming what is true of your wife and all proper well brought up women is true of all women. So. Does not want to hurt you? Really? You really think that is true for all the women on the planet? I have not been divorced but I know men who have. They would say otherwise. Will never hit back? Women hit men about as often as men hit women. Just with less effect.

    Look, people are vile, especially to each other. Vile people get into vile relationships where people do try to hurt each other. If you remove violence from the relationship people still get hurt, just fewer women end up in hospital. But it may encourage other forms of hurt. Women prefer to say things that hurt. If they know their dumb tongue-tied boy friends won’t hit them, then there is no restraint on them doing so. Sensible middle class women know not to provoke men too far. Someone like Katie Price does not. I am not a fan of Peter Andre by any means, but she said enough about him to warrant a low level physical response in my opinion. The world would not have been a worse place if he had. They might still be together. But no, he is a decent sort of man, if a little dim, and so he just has to take it. And in public too.

    In an ideal world, no one would hit anyone. But the world is not a worse place if the occasional man hits another. There are low level “micro-aggressions” the police don’t bother with. Reducing that violence requires restraint and good manners on everyone’s part – which, ironically, requires that violence *is* an option or no one has any incentive to avoid it. So if men are to behave as gentlemen women should behave like ladies.

  35. Part of what’s driving the Hate Week towards Roger Goodell is based in an attitude that nobody ever states this way, but can be summed up as: “The NFL has a big pile of money, and dammit, that’s just not fair.”

    Goodell’s initial punishment of Rice was two games’ suspension, which is an unpaid suspension, meaning that in a 16-game season, Rice would lose an eighth of his salary. That’s more severe than the pre-trial diversion Rice got from the DA and judge. But there’s no screaming outratge towards them the way there is towards Goodell. It’s partly because the NFL has those big piles of money, but partly because Goodell is an easy to dislike figure who has a lot more name recognition than the DA or judge. People want to get their moral outrage on, damn the consequences.

    It was terrible for Goodell to up the punishment after the TMZ video came out, but he did it because of the Twittermob, and it sets a terrible precedent for contract law. Try to explain this to people, and most of them don’t seem to give a damn. Point out the original two-game suspension was more severe than what the legal system gave him, and they don’t care either, because it makes it more difficult to show that righteous indignation.

    (BTW: What did James Brown say that was so objectionable? Youtube videos don’t play very will with my computer.)

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