Prosecutors indicated that he attacked his wife five times in 20, in one incident pushing her against a wall and choking her after she asked him to stop smoking marijuana in front of their children. , though Bradley was released by the Seattle Mariners in 2011 after requesting a leave of absence. There were two sexual assault allegations and 14 domestic violence allegations against NBA players from 2010 through 2014.. Of these three players, Jordan Hill pleaded no contest, and Greg Oden and Jeff Taylor pleaded guilty to lesser charges—none were convicted of the crime with which they were charged.This action resulted in an initial two-game suspension handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but was later increased to an indefinite suspension after the graphic video of the events that took place inside the elevator surfaced. Ray Rice appealed the indefinite suspension and, ultimately, it was overturned by a neutral arbitrator, former U. As Judge Jones wrote, “That the League did not realize the severity of the conduct without a visual record also speaks to their admitted failure in the past to sanction this type of conduct more severely.” As in many domestic violence cases, Janay Rice has supported her husband throughout the media storm, criminal process and league punishment. It is unfortunate that her personal life has become the fodder for a much-needed debate that should have been happening for some time.The point of the debate should never be the reaction of the survivor.Second, even when victims have the courage to report to the police, allegations of domestic violence or sexual assault often go unreported by the media until formal charges are pressed.
In this article, I review my findings based on the above-described search related to incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by players in MLB, the NFL and the NBA in the years 2010 through 2014 and highlight certain allegations, the handling of which should inform our approach to such allegations in the future.
If the leagues were only to concern themselves with on-field behavior (or off-field behavior that affects the outcome of games, such as use of performance-enhancing drugs), at least it would be a logically consistent policy.
Instead, the leagues have been inconsistently punishing players for certain off-field criminal behavior—arguably implicitly condoning the off-field criminal behavior that typically goes unpunished, such as violence against women.
[Editors’ Note: This article, which can be downloaded here, will be published in JSEL’s forthcoming issue. Withers’ highly regarded 2010 article on the same subject, The Integrity of the Game: Professional Athletes and Domestic Violence, 1 Harv. As in the late 1990s, the recent media attention on professional athletes and acts of off-field violence was precipitated by a widely publicized act of violence.
The NFL’s treatment of domestic violence was selected as the sports story of 2014 in an annual vote conducted by the Associated Press. For the first time since the late 1990s, the media is publicly recognizing the silent story that has laid dormant, overshadowed by the story of fame, glory, athleticism and America’s favorite pastimes.