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.
For instance, on January 14, 2015, it was reported that Josh Mc Nary, a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, was formally charged with rape, criminal confinement and battery for an incident that took place on December 1, 2014. The original incident and police report were never publicized despite having taken place a month and a half prior to the formal charges—even the Colts indicated that they were unaware of the allegations until the charges were pressed.
. 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.
The five-year search results based on a review of local and national newspapers are illuminating, not so much because of the total number of allegations, but because of the failure of the criminal justice system, the leagues and the teams to properly investigate and address these allegations.
Of the 64 total reported allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault by professional athletes from 2010 through 2014, 39 were against NFL players, 16 were against NBA players and 9 were against MLB players. 18 were allegations of sexual assault and 46 were of domestic violence. These numbers reflect a systemic failure, from the leagues to law enforcement to the justice system.
146 (2010).] In Spring 2010, I wrote an article reviewing the treatment by Major League Baseball (“MLB”), the National Football League (the “NFL”) and the National Basketball Association (the “NBA”) of professional athletes who are accused of domestic violence. At the time, there was very little written on the subject—a number of articles in the late 1990s focusing on the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman by famous former running back, O. Simpson (and the countless 911 domestic violence calls placed by Nicole Brown Simpson that preceded those deaths) and some pioneering works by author Jeff Benedict. Just five years later, the story is quite different.
Ray Rice, the esteemed running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was caught on camera punching Janay Rice—his then fiancée and now wife—unconscious in a casino elevator and then, with seeming indifference, dragging her limp body from the elevator. Jones, who found the penalty “arbitrary” because Ray Rice admitted he struck Janay Rice and never misrepresented the facts to Commissioner Goodell—the increase in the suspension seemed solely linked to the public backlash, largely influenced by the images caught on camera, rather than any new evidence.