Professional sports need higher standard to avoid hiring with violent pasts

Dino Frentzas, Staff Reporter

The NFL’s biggest problem is domestic violence. According to the NFL faces 250 domestic violence arrests every year which is close to the national average of two hundred eighty arrests. Domestic violence arrest rates are ranked as the NFL’s worst category in arrest rates with a arrest rate of 55 percent.

Domestic violence cases attack the integrity of the league. When all of these domestic violence cases occurred the league’s image took a major hit from the public. Now the league must respond to this issue, and it is intriguing to see what actions the league takes to solve these recurring offenses.

In January quarterback Johnny Manziel was charged with attacking his ex-girlfriend and could face jail time for a year and a fine of $4,000. He temporarily caused deafness in his ex-girlfriend’s ear from the attack.

This attack was sparked from a confrontation in a Dallas hotel room in January. Then, in a valet parking station Manziel forced her into a car and then hit her. Now Manziel is charged with a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence for these actions.

Ex-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for two NFL games and released by the Baltimore Ravens for domestic violence. Rice was caught in a TMZ video for knocking out his fiancée and dragging her out of an elevator. Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after TMZ leaked out the second video of Rice knocking out his fiancée. Rice appealed this suspension and now is a free agent hoping for a second chance to make it on an NFL roster.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was suspended for ten NFL games and found guilty for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Hardy was accused of flinging his girlfriend into a bathtub and throwing her on top of a futon covered in guns and attempting to choke her. Hardy said he was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine in these acts of domestic violence.

Hardy got a chance to play football again after being released from the Carolina Panthers to play for the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys faced plenty of criticism from the public for taking on Hardy after such acts but were willing to take a risk since Hardy is a extremely talented defensive end.

The NFL has been putting up disciplinary measures for domestic violence cases. According to, NFL Prospects starting this year cannot attend draft combines if they have been convicted of domestic violence, violence with the use of a weapon, sexual offense and sexual assault. In that case, in 2014 quarterback Zack Mettenberger would not have been able to attend the combine since he was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery which Mettenberger pled guilty to. Prospects not being able to attend the draft because of such offenses would detrimentally affect a prospect’s draft stock.

After the Ray Rice and Greg Hardy cases the NFL has implemented a new personal conduct policy to address these domestic violence cases. These policies will strengthen the integrity of the NFL and hopefully prevent these situations from occurring. According to the NFL’s new personal conduct policy now consists of:

1) additional NFL-funded counseling and services for victims

2) families, and violators, a more extensive list of prohibited conduct

3) independent investigative procedures

4) specific criteria for an individual formally charged domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse an expert group of outside advisors to review and evaluate potential violations and consult on other elements of the policy

5) a baseline suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse, other forms of family violence, or sexual assault

6) an appointment by the commissioner of a highly qualified league office executive with a criminal justice background to issue initial discipline.

It must be understood by athletes that it is a privilege to play a professional sport and that they must conduct themselves correctly because they not only harm their own image but harm the image of everyone around them. The NFL took a lot of scrutiny from all of these domestic violence cases but now with their new personal conduct policy they should be in a better position than before with fighting these offenses.