Member Groups

The Catalyst
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law

October 2014, vol. 20, no. 3

Letter from the Chair: Domestic Violence and the NFL

Have you been following the acts of domestic violence that Ray Rice, a former Baltimore Ravens running back, perpetuated on his then fiancée, now wife, Jenny, in an Atlantic City, New Jersey casino elevator during a February altercation? As you will recall, Rice was originally suspended for two games and later it was increased to an indefinite suspension. Apparently domestic violence is a violation of a player’s moral clause in his contract.

It surprised me that this was never made a big issue before. I am sure it is not the first time domestic abuse has occurred by a NFL player or any sports or entertainment figure.

It is sad to think that only the cases that are made public are looked at and punished. All of the coaches, GMs and players know it is wrong and against the law and maybe they should be punished as well.

Domestic violence is a fragile issue and it affects many people’s lives both financially and psychologically. Now, the NFL is working on revising their personal conduct policies. It is hoped that all persons in sports, government, private industries, etc. are also working on revising, updating and at least looking at their policies to make sure this conduct does not occur and if it does there will be no fear in reporting and punishing the perpetrator. Hopefully we can use this opportunity to bring awareness to domestic violence and companies will follow in the NFL’s footsteps in addressing this issue with their employees. ■