NFL ‘zero tolerance policy’ needs work

Domestic violence between professional athletes and their spouses is a topic not often covered in the greatest of detail by the athletic organizations employing these athletes.

There are certain rules and regulations against many offenses such as drug usage, unsportsmanlike conduct and anything and everything else a player does outside of the confines of the stadium, but by far the most neglected subject is still domestic violence and spousal abuse.

The National Football League has in place one “zero tolerance policy,” which, when thought through, logically does more harm than good for the victims of  abuse.

Money is generally the central issue which lies behind spousal abuse. Either it is not having enough of it or not having any kind of security for its continuous arrival in the bank account.

Take for example Josh Brown, former kicker for the New York Giants, and his wife Molly Brown, who reported multiple occasions of Josh Brown physically and verbally abusing her, citing money as one of the focal points for these abusive situations.

For the past few years she tried to seek help from local law enforcement, but it is only in recent months as more people have caught wind of the story that it has garnered actual public attention.

After suspending the kicker for a couple of games — when outcry reached its peak — the New York Giants and NFL essentially restricted him from ever being able to play in the league again.

For the kicker, this meant no more income, but for his wife, this has the potential to mean so much more.

“Molly was very fearful of what the future would be like if Josh was cut from the team and how that would impact his ability to pay child support,” said Robin Ostrum, King Count Sheriff’s detective in a report. “Molly was afraid of it becoming a spectacle in the media and that Josh could (lose) his job.”

It was practically a miracle for the abuse Molly Brown had been suffering to be noticed, especially considering there was no telltale video as in the case of Ray Rice, former running back for the Baltimore Ravens.

It is easy to be a spectator of football and complain about how not enough is done in the area of domestic violence to punish those who participate in it. “Grandstanding” as it can be referred to only adds to the problem.

Grandstanding is similar to those overenthusiastic, borderline insane parents at their children’s sporting events who shout at the referees and try to run the show from their folding chair. Guess what it accomplishes? Nothing.

Ultimately this zero tolerance policy has the potential to do way more harm than good and it needs some kind of adjustment or reform in order to better protect the victims and any other family members involved for the future.

The victims need to be taken care of financially, even if it is just for a maximum of a few years so the broken family can attempt to rebuild and start off with a clean slate. Nobody deserves to have the rest of his or her life destroyed because of an incredibly flawed zero tolerance policy.

About Randy Plavajka

Online Managing Editor

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