Two prominent NFL players have been severely punished for “off-the-field” family issues. Super Bowl winner, Ray Rice, has been terminated from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL Office after he punched his wife and knocked her out cold in a hotel elevator. Adrian Peterson, the 2012 league MVP, has been put on the exempt list (suspended with pay) by the Minnesota Vikings until the legal proceedings have been finalized in a case of alleged child abuse against each of his two sons.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZv0uTZ2YE (Chris Carter’s emotional reaction to the alleged Peterson Child Abuse)
Author’s Perspective #1 – Reactionary Leadership: The NFL has decided to make an example of these individuals to send a message to society that domestic violence and child abuse will be tolerated no more! Prior to these cases, the NFL did not have a strong history of standing up to these issues. They merely let the justice system handle such matters. However, when the Ray Rice video of the assault became public, the public outcry became too intense. The NFL didn’t want to look bad so they acted swiftly. The Peterson case is eerily similar. Initially Adrian Peterson was allowed to play, but after sponsors began to back out, the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings did an about-face on the issue. I would have preferred to see NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell respond with stronger leadership based on principle and moral right vs. wrong, but I will settle for reactionary leadership. Business leaders and teachers have morality clauses in their contracts that basically states a person can be terminated if she/he do something morally wrong, embarrassing or unethical. I think professional athletes should be held to similar standards.
Author’s Perspective #2 – Heed the Lesson: The lesson you should learn from this is that what happens in your personal life can have repercussions in your professional life (school/job). No longer are their private affairs that can be hushed and swept under a rug – no, not in this era of cell phone cameras. Character for character sake should be enough to motivate us to act responsibly. As men, we should have enough compassion to treat women with respect and not beat children. If not, always be aware of the eye in the sky and your neighbor with an I-phone camera.
Author’s Perspective #3 – This is not an NFL Problem: Don’t go pointing fingers at the NFL! Make no mistake, domestic violence and child abuse are societal problems. Depending on the source, a woman is beaten every 7 to 15 seconds in the United States. Similar numbers are reported for physical child abuse. Did you know that everyday in the United State approximately 4 children die from the hands of their own parents? We need to do better as a society. I can sense a culture shift in America today and I am happy to say that I am on the right side of this debate.
Your Turn: Please place your comments below, (2) like and share our Facebook page (character development & leadership) or (3) tweet to @CDandLeadership using #DomesticViolence)
1. There is room for discussion here. Do you think Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson have been treated fairly by the NFL? Why or why not?
2. If a General Motors factory worker was accused of domestic violence or child abuse, would he/she lose his/her job. Why or why not?
3. If you were the commissioner of the NFL, what would you have done in these situations?