Goodell Should Change the NFL Response or Leave

Luke Wuthrich ’18

The NFL has had increasing coverage in its domestic violence policy. Everyone knows about how Ray Rice punched his ­wife in the face and many have seen the graphic video. We know about Adrian Peterson who
beat his child. We know these stories because they are NFL stars, fantasy studs, and even the
faces of franchises, but domestic abuse and violence in the NFL is more than just these cases.

According to there have been eighty­-three cases of domestic violence in the NFL. This is
becoming a huge issue and someone needs to step up and stop it, before the league implodes
like Mark Cuban said it would. Everyone in the media thought his statement was crazy, but I think now there might be some truth in that statement if nothing is done.

Here is the list of players who committed domestic abuse and/or violent crimes, what they did, and the outcome of the crime:

  • Johnathan Dywer­, Running Back,­ Arizona Cardinals. Arrested on aggravated assault
    charges after police said he broke his wife’s nose and punched her wife in the
    face and struck his son in the stomach with a shoe in July 2012 at their Phoenix home.
    Dwyer was booked into Maricopa County Jail on counts that include aggravated assault
    causing a fracture and involving a minor, criminal damage, and preventing the use of a
    phone in an emergency
  • Adrian Peterson,­ Running Back,­ Minnesota Vikings. Booked and released from a
    Houston jail on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child. He is accused of
    disciplining his 4­-year-­old son in May in Spring by hitting him with a small tree
    branch called a switch
  •  Quincy Enunwa,­ Wide Receiver,­ New York Jets. Arrested and charged with domestic
    violence and simple assault after an incident with a woman in a New Jersey hotel room
  • Ray McDonald­, Defensive Tackle­, San Francisco 49ers. Arrested on suspicion of felony
    domestic violence in San Jose
  • Jo­Lonn Dunbar, ­Linebacker,­ St. Louis Rams. Arrested on battery and disorderly conduct
    charges after allegedly fighting NBA free agent Donte Green outside a Miami Beach
  • Keelan Johnson,­ Safety­, Philidelphia. Arrested and charged with assaulting a police
    officer, passively resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after authorities say he
    pushed a police officer after a bar brawl in Tempe, AZ.
  • Jimmy Smith,­ Cornerback,­ Baltimore Ravens. Arrested and cited for failing to follow an
    officer’s orders in an incident at a suburban Baltimore restaurant.
  • Marcell Dareus, ­Defensive Tackle­, Buffalo Bills. Charged with reckless endangerment
    after crashing his 2012 Jaguar into a tree in suburban Buffalo. He was also ticketed for
    several traffic violations, including drag-racing.
  • T.J. Ward,­ Safety,­ Denver Broncos. Charged with misdemeanor assault and disturbing
    the peace stemming after allegedly throwing a glass mug at a bartender when she told
    him outside drinks were not allowed in a Denver strip club on May 9.
  • Greg Hardy,­ Defensive End,­ Carolina Panthers. Arrested on 2 misdemeanor charges
    after he allegedly assaulted and threatened his ex­-girlfriend
  • Josh Morgan­, Wide Receiver,­ Chicago Bears. Arrested and charged with misdemeanor
    simple assault after allegedly punching a valet outside a Washington nightclub
  • Aldon Smith, ­Defensive End,­ San Francisco 49ers. Arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after he allegedly became belligerent during a security screening and said he had a bomb.
  • Orson Charles­, Fullback­, Chicago Bears. Arrested and charged with wanton
    endangerment in Madison County, KYy. He allegedly brandished a gun during a road­rage
  • Chris Culliver­, Cornerback,­ San Francisco 49ers. Arrested on misdemeanor hit­and­run
    charges and felony possession of brass knuckles after a he allegedly struck a bicyclist,
    then rammed a witness’ vehicle that was blocking him from leaving until police officers
  • Jah Reid­, Offensive Lineman,­ Baltimore Ravens.Charged with two counts of
    misdemeanor battery following a fight at a strip club in Key West, Florida.
  • Ray Rice,­ Running Back­, Baltimore Ravens.Arrested and charged with simple assault
    after he allegedly struck fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator. A grand
    jury indicted him on a more serious count of aggravated assault in March.
  • Davone Bess,­ Wide Receiver,­ Clevland Browns. Arrested and charged with assault on
    an officer, resisting arrest without violence and disorderly conduct following a
    confrontation at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
  • Michael Hill, ­Running Back­, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arrested on charges of disorderly
    conduct stemming from a bar fight in St. Joseph, Mo.

These events all happened in 2014. According to there have been 736 arrests of NFL players for domestic abuse, violence, and DWI combined. These players need to learn that they are not higher than the law. Even with a few arrests, the NFL does little of its own to address these crimes legitimately. Goodell needs to step up and address these issues with preventive training and judicial process rather than side-stepping the question of his resignation.