In response to the domestic violence incident involving former NFL running back Ray Rice and the league’s poor response system, the NFL recently hired three domestic violence experts as league advisors in addition to a former White House official as senior vice president of public policy and affairs. They also promoted their vice president of community affairs and philanthropy to vice president of social affairs and responsibility. All five of them are women. This news comes amidst the onslaught of recently revealed domestic violence cases concerning NFL players and the highly criticized methods of punishment involved. In addition to Ray Rice, players such as Ray McDonald, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy have been cited for domestic violence. A media storm has risen in response to these incidents branching out to several advertisers seeking to lessen or sever ties with various teams.
While all recent appointees boast extensive qualifications in multiple branches of domestic violence prevention, these efforts to curb the waves of criticism the NFL received are not going to be enough. This may be a step in the right direction, but in order for the NFL to show us in believable fashion that they truly wish to end domestic violence cases in the league, they need to do much more.
They need to go to the source of the problem. They should send a message to Pop Warner football teams, Division I collegiate teams and everything in between that as a man, you need to have the wherewithal to respect women, children and people in general.
The NFL is doing great things by appointing these experts and advisers, but the critics and the disappointed fans will not become a thing of the past until the NFL works with current league players and begins to actively engage with future professionals denouncing horrible acts.
Until then, the NFL will continue to be a league who does not make a priority of denouncing basic character flaws in its employees.
Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.