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Leave violence on the field

We all love watching football.

American football is just a game where eleven men run around a field for an hour trying to tackle eleven other men. Though injuries are frequent, football is overall a harmless form of entertainment.

What’s not harmless is when all of that physical aggression carries on after the game.

It seems like every year, there’s a new story about an NFL player and domestic violence.

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Adrian Peterson hit his son. Ray Rice hit his fiancée. Greg Hardy hit a former girlfriend. This year, Josh Brown faces allegations of hitting his wife.

NFL domestic violence
Ray Rice. (Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr)

Due to these charges, Josh Brown has been released by the New York Giants in the middle of his 4th season with the team and his 14th season in the NFL.

In his first public statement, Brown denied ever striking his wife. However, upon further evidence being released, Brown put out a statement in which he did not deny the charges.

The NFL has done a good job in recent years of swiftly handling these charges and removing players from the league. They haven’t always done such a great job, though.

There are potential Hall of Fame players, such as Ben Roethlisberger and Ray Lewis, whose entire careers are overshadowed by accusations of violence. While they were never found guilty in court, many people still question the results.

Nevertheless, the constant flood of such accusations against NFL players speaks volumes about the league. Players obviously have a difficult time leaving their aggression on the field.

Of course, the argument is always made that people will come after NFL players to get money. This is difficult to believe because criminal cases rarely result in payouts to the victim. It’s also unlikely that someone woke up one day and decided to ruin some NFL player’s life by falsely accusing him of assault.

Beyond domestic violence, NFL players are often in the news for criminal charges.

Whether they’re charged with a DUI, marijuana use or assault, many professional athletes face problems with the law. Perhaps it’s because they feel they are above the law.

From an early age, young men with athletic talent are allowed special privileges. It’s common knowledge that high school and college athletes live by different rules than their fellow students. It’s not as if this changes when they become professional athletes. They still feel as if the rules don’t apply to them.

Not all professional athletes are guilty, though.

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback, William Gay, adamantly speaks out against domestic violence after having lost his mother to a hostile living situation.

The NFL recently launched the No More campaign in which players speak out against domestic violence.

If athletes want to shift the public’s opinion on them, more players must take a stand against these criminal actions.

Rather than staying silent to protect their fellow players, athletes should denounce them. There’s a way to love your fellow players as friends and teammates, yet still hold them accountable for their actions.

Stopping domestic violence before it happens is impossible to do. The best that can be done is to dissuade anyone, professional athletes included, from such violence.

If the players feel that they can commit crimes and get away with it, they are never going to stop.

The NFL and its players, the court systems and the rest of the country must begin to prosecute and turn their backs on anyone guilty of domestic violence.

No one should be stuck in a hostile living situation. No one should be subjected to violence in a home where they’re meant to feel safe. No one should get away with committing such a terrible offense.

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