Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category
The NFL’s Mindless Misogyny: Why Was Ray Rice Given a Slap on the Wrist for Beating His Fiancée? / The Daily Beast
Please note; since this article was written Ray Rice’s suspension has been vacated due to his winning an appeal see link below:
The below article was originally posted on The Daily Beast
Written by Robert Silverman
Professional football players can be suspended up to a year for marijuana, yet the Baltimore Ravens’ star running back was given a measly two-game suspension for brutally assaulting his bride-to-be in a video that’s gone viral.
This is a thing that happened. A man in peak physical condition, possessing strength that would put the average person to shame, was caught on video dragging his unconscious, much smaller fiancée (now wife) by the hair out of an elevator at a casino in Atlantic City.
What occurred prior has not been made public, but according to witnesses that spoke to Deadspin, the alleged assailant threw an “uppercut,” while another said he struck her “like he [would punch] a guy.”
Watch it here
*****Caution May Trigger*****
The gentleman in question is Ray Rice, star running back for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Today, it was announced that as “punishment,” he will be suspended for the first two games of the regular season, and levied an additional fine of $58,000 in addition to a prorated loss of salary.
If you think two Sundays of sitting at home seems like a fairly light slap on the wrist for what by all accounts was a brutal assault, you’d be absolutely right, especially in light of the punishments that the NFL has meted out for other transgressions—namely those that concern performance enhancing drugs and/or controlled substances.
Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns is looking at a year on the sidelines for marijuana and alcohol use. Granted, he’s a repeat offender with what appears to be an actual substance abuse issue, but Ace Sanders, the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver, just got four games for a second violation.
Daryl Washington got sent home for a season, but not because he got busted for two counts of aggravated assault of his girlfriend, for which he received a year’s probation.
And the list goes on and on. Via Aaron Gordon of Sports on Earth, here’s a list of the 27 players that have been suspended since 2006. According to the NFL’s math, a helmet-to-helmet hit that occurred during a game is the equivalent of Rice’s vicious attack.
That’s bad enough, but take a look at what the Ravens’ head coach, Jim Harbaugh, said upon hearing of the suspension.
“It’s just part of the process. We always said from the beginning that the circumstances would determine the consequences,” Harbaugh said. “There are consequences when you make a mistake like that. I stand behind Ray, he’s a heck of a guy, he’s done everything right since. He makes a mistake, he’s gonna have to pay a consequence.
“I think that’s good for kids to understand it works that way, that’s how it works, that’s how it should be. We’ll move forward, and the next guy will have to step up and Ray will be back when the time comes. It’s not something that we’re dwelling on, we’re not worrying about it, we’re just moving forward.”
That’s right, parents. Make sure you remind your kids that Ray’s a heck of a guy and this two-game suspension is a fair and just punishment. Tell your boys that they can beat the tar out of a girl, and as long as they can average more than 4 yards a carry, they can pretty much get away with it.
And you girls out there, if you get smacked around by your man, make sure you explain how it’s partially your fault during an absolutely awful, team-sponsored press conference. Now, would you gals be interested in purchasing this glittery pink Ray Rice jersey as a show of support?
Why would the NFL render such a patently awful decision, one that states that personal drug use is a more heinous offense than beating the daylights out of a woman?
Well, for starters, there are some very powerful, wealthy forces that are engaged in a continuation of the status quo when it comes to prohibition laws, even for non-physically addictive substances like marijuana. The drug-testing industrial complex is a $1.4 billion-a-year industry that is deeply invested in seeing that contractual agreements among employers and employees supersede legalization efforts.
Here you can read the lovely story of a telemarketer in Colorado that got canned after failing a test, even though he had a legitimate medical reason and a prescription.
The organizations trying to bring attention to the insidious proliferation of domestic violence, however, don’t have nearly as much clout or lobbying dollars, but the numbers alone are horrifying.
From the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
· One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
· An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
· 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
· Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
· Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
· Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: This is not about pro athletes in the NFL or any other sport. The NBA is just as bad. Take a look at Aaron McGuire’s column and read the disturbing rap sheet. If you’re tempted to howl that this proves that they’re all “thugs” or “criminals,” please stop now.
America has a problem with domestic violence. The NFL has a problem with how seriously it takes violence against women because there’s zero economic incentive for them to do so. Fans might walk away if they think they’re “all on the dope” but for the most part, they really don’t care what athletes do off the field, as long as they’re not prohibited from playing and helping Team X win.
Take a look at what SportsCenter tweeted after the news came to light.
Ray Rice has been one of the most productive RBs in the NFL in the last 5 seasons.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 24, 2014
On their broadcast this morning, Adam Schefter wondered if the “punishment” was “lenient enough” before the rest of the crew turned the conversation to how the Ravens’ offense will function versus the Steelers and Bengals without their lead ballcarrier.
And the NFL Network described the suspension as Rice “dealing with the iron fist of the NFL,” before quickly pivoting to a conversation about the Thursday night schedule, which (shocker) will be broadcast on the NFL Network.
That may seem callous at best and providing ample cover for Rice and the league as a whole at worst, but they’re just giving their viewers what they want. And yes, I’m including myself in this group. I root for the New York Knicks. They employ an individual that not only has a serious drug problem; he was convicted of vehicular manslaughter. I have not stopped rooting for the Knicks in general or this player in particular, so I’m just as guilty of this hypocrisy as anyone else.
At The Nation, Dave Zirin wrote today that, “When its ‘breast cancer awareness month’ begins, people should take these jerseys and light a big old bonfire outside of NFL stadiums. They are symbols of a monstrous joke that sees women as either revenue streams, cheerleaders or collateral damage to what takes place on the field.”
He’s right, and I’d like to see a day when a demonstration like he describes might occur. But for now, it won’t. And until it does, we’ll be outraged at the next non-punishment for the next Ray Rice, and then the next, and then the next.
NEW YORK (AP) — Ray Rice has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension by the NFL.
An arbitrator ruled Friday that his suspension for punching his fiancee, now his wife, should be vacated immediately. The NFL said Rice, a free agent, is “eligible to play upon signing a new contract.”
Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones said Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision in September to change Rice’s original suspension from two games to indefinite was “arbitrary” and an “abuse of discretion.”
Jones was deciding whether the NFL overstepped its authority in modifying Rice’s two-game suspension after video of the Baltimore Ravens running back punching Janay became public.
Rice was released by the Ravens when the video went public. Rice and the union contended he was essentially sentenced twice, and Jones agreed.
She noted in her decision that after Goodell increased the punishment for a first offense under the personal conduct policy from two to six games, “the commissioner called Rice to assure him that the new policy would not affect him — that it was forward-looking and his penalty would not be increased.”
In her decision, Jones also wrote:
“Because Rice did not mislead the commissioner and because there were no new facts on which the commissioner could base his increased suspension, I find that the imposition of the indefinite suspension was arbitrary. I therefore vacate the second penalty imposed on Rice.
“The provisions of the first discipline — those regarding making continued use of counseling and other professional services, having no further involvement with law enforcement, and not committing any additional violations of league policies — still stand.”
The NFL said it accepted the decision.
“We respect Judge Jones’s decision to reinstate Ray Rice from his indefinite suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy in an incident of domestic violence,” spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press.
“Ray Rice is a free agent and has been eligible to be signed by an NFL team since he was released by the Ravens. Based on Judge Jones’ decision, he will be eligible to play upon signing a new contract.”
Goodell and the Rices testified at the hearing, as did NFL security chief Jeffrey Miller and Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. During his appearance, Goodell told Jones: “I do accept that I have to be consistent with consistent circumstances, and … I think that’s about fairness, and fairness would be, you should be as consistent as possible in your discipline.”
The NFL Players Association claimed a “victory for a disciplinary process that is fair and transparent” in a statement. The union called again for collective bargaining to produce a new personal conduct policy.
For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet / The Washington Post-By Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea
Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she’s looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband’s career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children’s financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands’ attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.
“We’ve told agents about it, called the NFL Players Association when things were really, really bad,” Smith-Williams recalls. “They would say, ‘Oh, we’re really sorry that you are going through this. We’ll look into it.’ But you never heard back. There’s no one available for the wives.”
She and another former NFL wife describe an insular and intensely secretive organization, where loyalty extends only in one direction – everyone protects the NFL brand, but the NFL protects its own interests over everything else. The culture is passed down more by example than diktat. Wives new to the league watch older ones suffer from abuse in silence, and they mimic the behavior. Often, wives and girlfriends confide in each other, but when they do, their advice is to stay quiet, say the two women, one of whom declined to let her name be printed because her ex-husband is still associated with the league.
It’s counterintuitive to the outside world: Women should leave their abusers, and their abusers should be punished. But the NFL is a unique universe with an overwhelmingly male workforce whose members are lionized in the press and in their communities; a we’re-all-in-this-together ethos; and incentives for the managers, coaches, and union reps to keep negative stories under wraps. Going to authorities, whether police or hospitals, means social exclusion and, more importantly, negative media attention that could end your husband’s career. Justice imperils their belonging and their livelihood.
The wives, whose husbands ended their playing careers in the 2000s, say they knew of no safe alternative — no liaison to players’ families, no counselor, and no procedure for reporting abuse. In fact, the league rarely communicates with wives at all, on issues serious or benign, even though a great number of them don’t work and are dependent on their husbands, they say. The NFL did not answer several requests for comment about league culture or how officials interact with players’ wives. Teri Patterson, deputy managing director and special counsel to the NFL Players Association, says her organization beefed up its communication with wives after she arrived in 2009. The NFLPA now holds meetings for players and their wives in 10 cities each year, plus up to five others at special events like the Super Bowl. (There are 32 teams in the league, meaning only one-third of them have access to the sessions each year.)
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, just one-quarter of the 1.3 million American women assaulted by an intimate partner each year report the attacks to the police. But the two wives interviewed for this article claimed the rate of reporting among NFL wives and girlfriends is much lower. They say the league has built a tight-knit culture, similar to a fraternity, with entrenched hierarchies and a fierce sense of loyalty among members. “You get brainwashed. It’s so ingrained that you protect the player, you just stay quiet. You learn your role is to be the supportive NFL wife,” says one of them, the onetime wife of a Saints player who asked to speak anonymously because her now ex-husband is still associated with the league. Otherwise, she says, “You’d cost him his job.”
For that reason, few of them have felt comfortable telling their stories in the press. But the example of Janay Rice moved two of them to describe what they had gone through and what they had seen — namely, the way they thought the NFL, the NFLPA, and local law enforcement abandoned them after their husbands’ abuse. Since they began telling The Washington Post their stories, they also spoke with other NFL wives who went through similar situations but didn’t want to come forward, they say. These accounts help explain why.
During the decade when her husband, offensive lineman Wally Williams, played in the league, Smith-Williams says that the overwhelming majority of the NFL wives she talked to quietly suffered from some kind of spousal abuse. One showed up on her porch barefoot and crying one night. Others came to indoor team events in sunglasses. Other times, they opened up to her and other wives in the league about their experiences with domestic abuse. But as in any tight-knit organization, players’ family lives rarely stayed private, she says. Coaches and general managers didn’t need to be told directly to know which players were having trouble at home.
Yet they habitually overlooked the league’s systemic domestic abuse problem, she says, an experience in line with the story former Chicago Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo described to USA Today last week, when he told a reporter that teams failed to punish players in “hundreds and hundreds” of domestic-violence episodes during his three-decade-long career. Later, he took back his comments after others in the league criticized him. (USA Today has not retracted the story.)
In rare cases when women did muster the courage to notify law enforcement, police officers appeared to tolerate players’ bad behavior. “When the cops would come, they just said we needed some time apart, and they would talk to [Wally] about football,” Smith-Williams recalls. “The police tell you, ‘You don’t want this in the news.’ I have things that happened in my life that there is no record of.”
Wally Williams denied the domestic-abuse allegations in this story and declined to comment on any specific claims.
Smith-Williams, who now lives separately from her husband but is still married to him, says she was pushed, grabbed and held by the throat early in her tumultuous 16-year marriage to Williams. During that time, the NFL was a constant presence in their lives, and she received clear messages from the head coach not to air the league’s dirty laundry — even to the cops.
In 2001, two years before Williams retired from the sport, police responded to an alarm at their empty New Orleans-area home and found marijuana on a table. Head Coach Jim Haslett, who lived in the neighborhood, heard about the incident and left a note at their home warning them to call him before talking to anyone else. Haslett, the most important authority figure in their lives, later met them at their home and told them to keep quiet, Smith-Williams says. She says she originally offered to take the fall and tell authorities the marijuana was hers, to protect Wally’s public image and career. Haslett told her it wouldn’t work. “He said, ‘They don’t want you. They want him,’” she recalls. “He said, ‘Don’t talk to the media. Don’t talk to the police. We will handle it.” It was a message that would stay with her.
Soon after, an attorney for the league contacted the couple to tell them Wally would be arrested. Smith-Williams says she doesn’t know what happened behind the scenes after he posted bail, but ultimately, her husband was never charged. The NFL put him under supervision and assigned him a liaison to help him stay out of trouble.
The Saints declined to comment on the incident, and Haslett, who is now defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, did not return calls or e-mails for comment.
The next year, during his final season, Williams tested positive for marijuana use and received a four-game suspension. So when Smith-Williams found marijuana in their Baltimore home, she confronted her husband about it. He stormed through their Baltimore house with a baseball bat, hitting doors, chairs and pictures while threatening her, she says. But after Coach Haslett’s warning the previous year, she chose not to call the cops. Instead, she rang the NFLPA rep assigned to Williams’s case. He told her to stay safe and to let Williams leave the house. He said that someone would call her back. That call never came. Smith-Williams wasn’t entirely surprised — the league rarely returned calls from her or other wives, they had told her. So she didn’t bother calling again.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says the league has no record of the event. The NFLPA declined to comment, but Patterson, who now counsels NFL families on its behalf, says the players association is “definitely hyper-responsive” to wives’ inquiries.
In another incident that year, in their New Orleans-area home, Smith-Williams says her husband threw a cellphone at her, hit her on the arm with a newspaper, then pushed and held her against the wall and started choking her. This time, she called the cops and filed a police report that describes much of the episode; a copy was obtained by The Washington Post. But she was ultimately afraid to press charges. “I didn’t want the father of my children in jail,” she wrote in an e-mail. “I didn’t want him to lose his job. Bottom line.”
“HE SAID, ‘DON’T TALK TO THE MEDIA. DON’T TALK TO THE POLICE. WE WILL HANDLE IT.”
Even after players have left the field, their dependent wives have an incentive to protect their husbands’ careers. Wally Williams had retired in 2003 to work as a CBS analyst and moved out of the Maryland home he shared with Smith-Williams. But in January 2005, he returned to pick up a laptop and some other property that, she says, didn’t belong to him. “I called the police and he snatched the phone from me. I called from other phones, and he would do the same. There was a glass door and he pushed me through it.” The police eventually called back, and Smith-Williams was taken to a Maryland emergency room, where, according to hospital records obtained by The Washington Post, she was treated for multiple cuts and bruises. Police came to the hospital and took a statement, but again she chose not to press charges.
Smith-Williams says she has talked about this phenomenon with dozens of football wives and girlfriends over the years, all of whom echo her feeling of powerlessness when law-enforcement, NFL, and NFLPA officials all failed to intervene against signs of domestic-abuse. The women, she says, eventually come to believe there’s nothing they can do fix the problem, so they focus on living with it. “I had friends who had black eyes. They said they ran into cupboards. There were women who said their husbands ran them over like they were on a football field,” Smith-Williams recalls. “There are many other families’ experiences that have already been minimized, ignored, or overlooked by the law and by the NFL because of the protection of the NFL brand.”
Among them was the then-wife of another New Orleans Saints player — the one who asked not to be named because her now ex-husband is still associated with the league. She recalls that one night, when several players were at a bar celebrating their first win of the season during the 1990s, her husband became enraged at her request to go home early. He grabbed her arm roughly and dragged her to their SUV while a teammate convinced two police officers who’d been patrolling nearby not to intervene.
The abuse intensified once they got home, where her husband dragged her into their apartment by her hair and then beat her, she says.
He pushed me to the top of the stairs and shoved me over to the bed. When I stood up, he punched me, and the next thing I remember is coming to on the floor. I remember pulling my legs up to the fetal position to protect myself from his kick after kick. I was vomiting and gasping for air and remember screaming, ‘You are going to kill me!’
Her black eyes lasted for four weeks, she says.
Neighbors who saw the altercation begin outside their home had called the police. But when they arrived, instead of arresting her husband, the officers chatted and laughed with him about his successful game, she says. One requested an autograph for his kid. When her husband cleaned the blood from her face and ushered her downstairs to assure the police officers all was well in the home, they overlooked any evidence of abuse, she says, and as far as she knows they never filed a police report.
The next afternoon, a woman from the Saints main office called her for the first time ever. It wasn’t until she became a potential threat, the wife remembers thinking, that the team had reached out to her. Yet the rep didn’t mention the manhandling at the bar, the intervention from the police or even the abuse, which led the wife to think they just wanted to know whether she intended to involve the police or the press.
[The rep] said she called to ‘check on me.’ … I knew what the call meant. I think every wife knows innately what that call means: ‘Your husband needs this job, and you don’t want to take his dream away now do you?’ I lost more than my dignity. I lost my voice, my self-confidence, my identity. I was just a football player’s wife, collateral damage.
She says her then-husband avoided a hospital visit (and a potentially public embarrassment) the next day by cleaning up her bloodied eyes and face with supplies purchased at the drug store. He personally took her to her job to make sure she told her coworkers she had been in a car accident, which explained the bruises. She didn’t follow up with the police or press charges.
“I learned to listen and not speak,” she says. “He would remind me of that night, how no one would care if I was gone and how the cops did [not care]. It was all about him. He reminded me that I was alone and disposable.”
Neither the Saints nor the NFL responded to requests for comment about her story
In family-style cultures that promote loyalty above other concerns, victims are often disinclined to seek safety, says Ruth Glenn, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “There are a lot of barriers for women when they are trying to leave an abusive relationship,” she says. “The NFL has given us many factors as to why there are barriers: financial, shame, cultural barriers.”
Smith-Williams says that description fits her story, because she had become highly dependent on her NFL husband. She left her hometown of Akron, Ohio, her family and her social circle to move around the country as he played for different teams. She gave up her nursing job to support his career and take care of their growing family. For her, like many wives, the NFL became her life and her livelihood, and her husband was the link to that. If he left, she had nothing.
The elevator surveillance video showing Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Rice in Atlantic City emboldened these women to come forward, they say, because it revealed widespread but rarely-discussed problem. “If you hadn’t seen the video, you would never believe that this happens,” Smith-Williams says. “There is never any accountability” for men taught to attack on the field and enforce their wills on others. “Some of these men are not equipped mentally or emotionally to turn off the aggression switch.” Since separating from her husband, Smith-Williams has gotten a master’s degree and now works as a nurse practitioner in Garfield Heights, Ohio.
The NFLPA says it works with clinicians on various health needs of the players and their families, but there are no programs focused on domestic abuse. Smith-Williams thinks the league should mandate psychological help for players who exhibit warning signs and counseling for abused spouses and children. Token suspensions and resignations do nothing to solve the problem and may even worsen it, because players who are abusive, including their own husbands in the past, use the threat of punishment to keep their partners quiet, the wives say.
If the league is serious about ending domestic violence in its ranks, it must rehabilitate instead of punish, they say. Penalties should be less draconian, so wives don’t worry about ending their husbands’ careers or threatening their families’ livelihoods. “They use [the NFL’s current policies] as leverage against you,” says the ex-wife of the Saints player. “There’s abuse on every team. Everybody knows, but you know not to tell.” Ultimately, she says, the case against Ray Rice has made the NFL less safe for women:
“You will hear of a wife murdered before you hear another one come forward.”
A former NFL executive said teams did not discipline players in “hundreds and hundreds” of domestic violence incidents during his 30 years in the league, and said he now regrets his role in the failure to take action.
“I made a mistake,” Jerry Angelo told USA TODAY Sports. “I was human. I was part of it. I’m not proud of it.”
Angelo, who was general manager of the Chicago Bears from 2001 to 2011 and has been out of the league since, said his typical approach after learning of a player’s involvement in a domestic violence case was to inquire, “OK, is everybody OK? Yeah. How are they doing? Good. And then we’d just move on. We’d move on.”
“We knew it was wrong,” Angelo said. “…For whatever reason, it just kind of got glossed over. I’m no psychiatrist, so I can’t really get into what that part of it is. I’m just telling you how I was. I’ve got to look at myself first. And I was part of that, but I didn’t stand alone.”
The Bears released a statement later Thursday denying any knowledge of Angelo’s assertions. “We were surprised by Jerry’s comments and do not know what he is referring to,” the statement read.
Angelo said his perspective changed when the infamous Ray Rice video surfaced, showing the star running back punching his fiancee in the face in an elevator and causing her to lose consciousness. The video triggered outrage over the league’s handling of domestic violence. For Angelo, it brought remorse.
Plenty left unresolved in NFL’s domestic violence talks
“It was the pictures, it was the video,” he said. “We had never seen that before. I had never seen video on domestic violence. I think that’s what got everybody’s attention.”
Angelo made the disclosure during an interview with USA TODAY Sports about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has faced calls for his resignation and widespread criticism of how the league has handled players accused of domestic violence, and whether the league aggressively investigated the Rice incident.
Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games. Once the video showing Rice punching his fiancee surfaced in September, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely and the Baltimore Ravens released him. Goodell said no one in NFL offices had seen the video before it was posted online by TMZ.
This week at the NFL owners meetings in New York, Goodell presided over a lengthy session on the league’s personal conduct policy and what should be done to address issues such as domestic violence. Goodell has said the league will announce changes between now and the Super Bowl.
Angelo praised Goodell for his integrity — “He would never cover anything up,” he said — but said the league’s failure to obtain the video made it look like “they were just trying to cover their ass.”
Prior to joining the Bears, Angelo was director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1987 to 2001, a scout for the New York Giants from 1982 to 1986 and a scout for the Dallas Cowboys in 1980, the year he entered the league.
DATABASE: Arrests of NFL players
During Angelo’s tenure as general manager with the Bears, the team won four division titles and reached the Super Bowl after the 2006 season. He was fired after the Bears finished 8-8 in 2011, a year after the team reached the NFC championship game.
Angelo said he did not report to the league cases of domestic violences involving players because disciplinary action would have put his team at a competitive disadvantage.
“Our business is to win games,” Angelo said. “We’ve got to win games, and the commissioner’s job is to make sure the credibility of the National Football League is held in the highest esteem. But to start with that, you have to know who’s representing the shield.”
“We got our priorities a little out of order,” he said.
In 2008, Goodell instituted a personal conduct policy that mandates players and teams report to the league any legal matters that lead to arrest or charges.
Bell: NFL owners unwavering in Roger Goodell support
Tank Johnson, a defensive tackle who played for the Bears from 2004 to 2006, said he is aware that domestic violence incidents went unpunished. Johnson served a six-game suspension imposed by the league in 2007 for a series of legal issues involving gun charges, but nothing involving domestic violence.
“I think that 95 percent of situations or issues that ballclubs face, of course they try to handle them internally and see if they can come up with a resolution,” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports. “…We’re talking about billion-dollar organizations, and maybe there’s a little bravado there, a little ego to say that we can handle this internally.”
Johnson said he respected the former Bears GM, calling Angelo “a great man,” and said he was not surprised to learn about his self-reflection.
“Looking at the Ray Rice situation, it’s got to make everybody step back and say, ‘OK, how many times has this happened and it’s gone unreported?’ ” Johnson said. “And how many times have we overlooked this?
“Anytime you a picture or a video to something, it makes it 100 percent more real. …When you see something so vivid, so violent, it makes everyone gasp and say, ‘Wow, this is real.’ ”
Added Angelo, “Short of killing somebody, there is absolutely nothing worse than abusing a child or a woman. Nothing. And I think everybody understands that now much, much better.
“We’ll be better for it. Everybody will be better. The players, the NFL, everybody.”
Adrian Peterson said today that he wants the public to “understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.”
Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back who was benched after being charged with child abuse for allegedly disciplining his son with a switch, made his first public statement on the issue today.
“I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser,” he said in a statement released through his agent and that he posted on social media today.
Read Adrian Peterson’s Statement on Disciplining His Child
“I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son,” Peterson said.
The incident occurred at his home in Texas this May but was not known publicly until Friday when he was indicted. He allegedly hit his 4-year-old son with a thin branch and the incident was reported by a doctor who was concerned about how much the boy was bleeding.
“I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen,” Peterson said in the statement. “I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.”
Peterson has never spoken publicly about the ways in which he was disciplined as a child, but alluded to having received similar punishments as a child. He said in his statement today, “I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man.”
The Vikings benched the star running back for last week’s game but announced today that he will be reinstated this week. His next hearing is on Wednesday and he has not yet entered a plea.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said the team has met with Peterson and his lawyers several times before allowing him to return to the team this week.
“This is a difficult path to navigate… on how a parent disciplines their child,” Spielman said. He added, “We believe he deserves to play while the legal process plays out.”
Spielman declined to say whether Peterson’s actions were child abuse. “We must defer ot the legal system to determine if he went too far, but we cannot make that judgment,” he said.