By Stephanie Woodward |Staff Writer|
Domestic violence in professional sports is becoming a troubling trend that we as a society, and most importantly sports fans, should not tolerate.
I believe that we have been letting our athletes off too easy and not enforcing strict punishment for their actions for too long.
I believe that all our professional sports leagues need to start being more assertive with all domestic violence crimes, and create strict policies for all leagues.
Domestic violence cases in professional sports have been an ongoing occurrence, but are just recently being publicized in the media.
In July 2012, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was arrested after his mother called the police, claiming she was assaulted by her son.
Bryant later turned himself in and was charged with Class A misdemeanor domestic violence charges, according to CNN.
A few months later, the charges were dismissed and Bryant was never suspended by the NFL. Instead, they imposed a strict set of rules that included a curfew, counseling and no alcohol, ESPN reported.
It is appalling to me that after assaulting his own mother, the NFL failed to take action, and his reputation did not suffer.
The NFL established a new domestic violence policy this year, which entails a six-game unpaid ban for any personnel who violates the league policy on domestic violence, and a second incident would be punished by a lifetime ban, according to CNN.
The NFL is the only league that has created a new policy, and I think it is long overdue and that all other leagues need to follow their example.
“There needs to be better defined codes of conduct that players and owners know beforehand; what are the expectations, what are the codes they have to follow and if they violate one of these codes, what are the punishments?” stated Michael Buckner, a sports attorney at Buckner Sports Law.
There are cases coming out frequently in many professional men and women’s sports.
In June 2014, two time Olympic gold medalist U.S. national and Seattle Reign women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo was arrested after allegedly striking both her half-sister and nephew.
Solo was held without bail for a short period of time, but was then released until her trial in November, according to the Seattle Times.
Solo continues to play for both her professional and national team as she awaits her trial.
In November 2014, the NHL suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov indefinitely after domestic violence charges were made against him.
The NHL’s quick reaction time was due to an incident in 2013, when Colorado Avalanche goalie, Semyon Varlamov was charged with second-degree kidnapping, and neither the team nor the league suspended him, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The NHL should have punished Varlamov, rather than just overlooking the kidnapping to keep him in the game.
Professional sports teams are starting to react more assertively to accusations after the mishandling of numerous incidents.
“I am a hockey fan and was surprised to hear about the Kings player, since the Ray Rice incident all professional sports teams seem to be taking any type of violent crime much more serious,” said CSUSB senior Sarah Johnson.
Professional sports leagues should be implementing strict rules and punishments for all violent crimes.