Throughout history, sports players have been in the public eye. They’re much thought of as the heroic figures to those who desire a career in the league or even the “die hard” fans who are dedicated. When thinking of the stereotypical traits of a heroic figure as someone who’s trustworthy, honesty and viewed to be an untouchable individual. But as we all know not every story is what some may call “picture perfect”. People fail to realize that their champion winning sports players we cheer on during game days are just like everyone in the world. The question being how can we establish a connection with ones that real side may barely be shown? In recent weeks, sports media has been booming with tabloids about domestic violence cases of well-known players in their leagues. As we the public become intrigued to see these players fall from their immortal status from committing such a crime thought to be impossible for them. As fans typically only take a glance of their lives on the field; I come to wonder if it’s more of a shock to them or a reality of everyone’s ability to be held equally. Would the standards be different if your position in society didn’t matter as much as the crime that has been committed should?
An article published online in USA Today last week, states that even with the multiple controversies going on in the NFL and the nation, is taking much needed action towards players involved in the domestic violence convictions such as. Actions are also being taken in teams like the Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, was charged with a domestic violence case with an assault his then-fiancée Janay Rice, who was left unconscious for in an elevator. Rice is known to have a clean record, after authorities released the video of Rice and his then fiancée knocked out; the agreement between the NFL and the Ravens to end Rice’s contract following up with an indefinite suspension. This decision was reported by researchers- Erik Brady and Jim Corbett both journalist for USA Today. In addition to the NFL furthers taking action an article by researcher Will Brinson a Senior NFL Writer, writes weekly articles and directs videos for CBS Sports.com. Brinson quotes statement from a memo from Commissioner Roger Goodell to the 32 NFL owners “The NFL is hiring four women advisors in shaping the league’s stance on domestic violence”, The league is attempting to change the outlook of how it handles domestic violence with the hopes of being looked at for an earnest effort towards change.
Goodell wrote, “Because domestic violence and sexual assault are broad societal issues, we have engaged leading experts to provide specialized advice and guidance in ensuring that the NFL’s programs reflect the most current and effective approaches.” In addition to Goodell’s memo, he also stated a plan for the four women such as Lisa Friel, the former Sex Crime Prosecution Unit in New York County District Attorney’s Office to be one of the women to peruse the NFL’s efforts. Domestic violence is the behavior used by one person in a relationship to control the other. This violence takes place in many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. Although both men and women are susceptible to abuse, the most common cases are known to be found dealing with women who have been in some form neglected or abused. In studies cases of domestic violence have been on the rise, meaning more cases of not just celebrities but people all around the nation. As the talk rises of domestic violence cases pertaining to sports people see this as tragedy and a new cause to crime that has been happening for decades. It’s taken little pity on the actual victim but more on the player who is at fault. In the SBNation article written by Stephen “Poseour” Blake, stating that most fans are leaning towards defending team players rather than raising awareness for those who have been emotionally and physically impacted by the crime done.
When do we ask ourselves, is supporting something worth it? With a personal belief that we should live by the rules of treating everyone with fairness and honesty as fans indicate sports players to be. In conclusion, I think that athletes are treated to an alternate standard compared to everyone because more is invested into their successful than their downfall. More cases of domestic violence are becoming better known to the public; especially in sports mostly pertaining to players in the NFL league. My feelings towards this topic are that even with fame of being known for a talent is a very rare accomplishment that’s few get to achieve. People still need to realize that no matter how famous a person becomes their still accountable for their actions. Personally I think that more should be done to the person accused of the crime just as equally for someone who isn’t on the fame radar. Punishment shouldn’t have a limit just because this person is well- known. Along with fans treating the victims more like the criminals instead of the players. When in reality being a “die hard” fan doesn’t always mean supporting what’s wrong.