Zero tolerance for domestic violence in professional sports


Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has repeatedly expressed his support of Greg Hardy (pictured), effectively prioritizing winning football games over the right and just punishment of perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Anthony Sosa, Assistant Sports Editor

Domestic violence and assault is no joke. Unfortunately, many Americans still don’t take it seriously.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. That statistic alone leaves me at a loss for words.

In professional and collegiate sports, domestic violence and assault are some of the biggest issues players deal with today. The latest case of this reoccurring problem belongs to Greg Hardy, a Dallas Cowboy’s defensive end.

We first heard of Hardy’s domestic violence against his then-girlfriend Nicole Holder in May 2014. At the time, Hardy played for the Carolina Panthers. The NFL and commissioner Roger Goddell handed Hardy a combined five-game suspension for this occurrence. In the past month, photos were released of the injuries inflicted on Holder’s back, shoulders and chin. These photos caused uproar from America demanding the NFL to either suspend or remove Hardy. Jail time is another demand. 

My main question is why did it take pictures for America to react like this? Is a description and voice not good enough to show people how bad domestic violence is?

The Cowboy’s owner, Jerry Jones, defended Hardy earlier this year, calling him a leader. I don’t understand that one bit. Hardy not only beat up his girlfriend, but has also caused a few problems in the locker room. What kind of leader is that? A leader is an athlete that takes an ambitious approach to better themselves and their teammates both on and off the field.

Hardy is just one of the many NFL players who committed domestic violence recently. Cameras caught former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his wife out in an elevator in 2014. Although his wife dropped domestic violence charges, his actions were still unjust. Rice hasn’t played an NFL game since the incident, which is how it should be.

Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings, assaulted his son and was suspended for all of the 2014 season. He is now back playing in the 2015 season.

Clearly, assault and domestic violence is a big issue in the NFL, but other athletes have committed crimes as well. Patrick Kane, right wing for the Chicago Blackhawks, was under investigation recently for possible rape charges. USA Women’s soccer player Hope Solo committed domestic violence against her sister and nephew in 2014.

Domestic violence and assault are big issues in today’s sports world. There’s no room for it in sports, let alone anywhere. Anger should never be taken out on a family member, or anyone for that matter. If athletes commit violence or assault they have no right to play a sport professionally. Unfortunately, many of these athletes get away with a lot of these cases because they are famous and important to big organizations. It’s time for America, the sports community and fans to take a stand on this. I, for one, am done supporting any athlete who commits these types of crimes, and I believe the rest of America should join me.