The NFL has a lot to worry about when it comes to the iconic nature of it's business. It was 20 years ago on June 12th Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered along with her friend Ron Goldman. The NFL is deathly worried that if domestic violence is considered a serious infraction with the league "the shield" will become tarnished and be replaced with a new organization.
One of the more profound statements made by Ms. Dewan Smith-Williams was, "These men have money and they are not used to being told no."
By Jordan Valinsky
With the string of domestic abuse controversies (click here) that have rocked the NFL in the past few months, the league has a bad track record in dealing with these type of allegations. Now, a stunning report from the Washington Post details how bad it actually is.
The newspaper spoke with two NFL wives who endured years of abusive relationships: Dewan Smith-Williams and another who didn't want her identity revealed because her ex-husband is still in the league. Instead of the league acting like a safe haven where the women could come for help, it allegedly brushed their reports under the rug.
Both women recounted frightening details of what great lengths the cops, league officials and coaches would go to avoid tarnishing the players' or league's image. Perhaps most disturbingly, despite that the stories happened years ago, the women say the NFL isn't doing anything to stop the domestic abuse problem epidemic....
OJ Simpson still holds the record as the only player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a 14-game season. His name is still worth something even after finding himself living behind bars. Simpson holds the record for the single season yards-per-game average, which stands at 143.1 ypg and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The NFL's approach in confronting violence has been prudent, but, remains to resolve the violence with some players. I saw an advertisement today on television about an outreach to women and children experiencing domestic violence. That type of promotion was the money donated by the NFL and it is vitally necessary money.
If we understand Ms. Dewan Smith-Williams and her statement of, "These men have money and they are not used to being told no," the only logical solution is to have the one organization, the NFL, that can control the money these players receive along with fines, be the authority they respect more than any other. The NFL has a unique position in all these instances and can bring considerable leverage to mitigating a household experiencing disharmony.
I would not expect the NFL to seek to leverage any outcomes due to men that brake the law, that is water under the bridge. But, if the NFL would give credence to the spouses and family members that come to them stating there is a problem in their relationship there is a chance, a better than 50-50 chance, violence can be averted.
I believe Roger Goodell stated he has brought together several women advisers to intervene in the growing concern of domestic abuse with NFL players. He could easily have that panel of women develop a parallel program to any of the players to mitigate any concerns that have resulted because of abusive behavior no matter how minor.
A program for spouses and children that hold them in esteem and elevates each one and their visual appearance at games and a fan base to develop in that relationship. We only see the spouses and children after there is bad news. That is no place for them to be in the public domain.
A successful program prevents violence and upholds the dignity of marriage and family. The NFL should never seek to be invisible in these issues because it is the one authority the players recognize as important in their lives. This can be done and the players can have happy, healthy relationships with wonderful people while cherishing their children and every moment they are young.