Domestic violence in the NFL

Domestic violence has been swept under the rug for many decades, but is finally getting more attention in the NFL.

First there was Ray Rice, who knocked his then-girlfriend unconscious in an elevator.

Then, just a few weeks ago, baseball star Jose Reyes was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.

Now, there is Greg Hardy. According to a recent report by Deadspin, Hardy, currently a defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, was accused of beating his girlfriend Nicole Holder.

Hardy had allegedly beat her to the point where she said “Just do it. Kill me.”

She said he threw her onto a futon covered in assault rifles.

However, despite Holder’s claims, the charges were dismissed and the case was settled out of court.

Let’s start with the first level of hypocrisy: the fact that Hardy is playing and Rice is not.

I don’t want to argue about whether either of these guys should be allowed to play, but I will argue that the differences in the way the two cases were handled was a complete mockery of the NFL’s disciplinary system.

Rice isn’t in the league anymore, whereas Hardy will barely even recognize publicly that he did anything wrong.

The reason Hardy can continue to play is simply because he is a better player at a more important position.

Running backs such as Rice are viewed as replaceable. Unstoppable pass rushers such as Hardy are not.

Although Rice had his fair share of success in the league, at the time of his domestic violence incident, he was far from the player he once was.

The second level of hypocrisy does not involve the players, the coaches or the NFL Players Association. It involves us, the fans.

Both the Rice and Hardy incidents unraveled in a very similar fashion: the facts were released first, followed by powerful visual evidence.

Pictures of Holder’s injuries were recently released, inciting another wave of anger around the nation.

We live in a society that’s growing more dependent on images and video by the day.

In both of these cases, the videos and pictures revealed nothing we didn’t already know, and yet both invoked more outrage than the original cases.

I think it speaks volumes about American society today, and there are three big takeaways.

One, there is a distrust of the media and a need for people to “see things for themselves.”

Secondly, people don’t trust domestic abuse allegations and thirdly, we are losing our ability to visualize and imagine things on our own.

I am not saying that pictures, and other forms of visual evidence should not disgust people and elicit emotion.  

I am saying that I wish the same support could be shown for the women who were beaten without the camera rolling.