Improper handling of domestic abuse hurts NFL brand
It took the NFL seven months to decide to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after he knocked out his then girlfriend, Janay Palmer.
Ray Rice is not the only player to be involved in domestic abuse problems and not be punished in a timely manner by the NFL. Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Jonathan Dwyer have each received light punishments for domestic abuse.
Rice’s initial punishment was only a two-game suspension, and both Peterson and Hardy continued to be paid while they went through the legal process.
Now that Rice has received an indefinite suspension and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has announced new personal conduct policies, many feel it is too little, too late.
Many have taken to Twitter with hashtags like, #BoycottNFL and #FireGoodell. The women’s rights group Ultraviolet even flew a banner reading, ‘Ultraviolet #GoodellMustGo,’ over the New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals game.
Goodell’s negligence on taking swift, appropriate action has hurt the NFL brand.
The NFL was already having public perception issues with the recent data on concussions. Rather than trying to hide these events, they should have immediately suspended these players without pay. They also should have been open and truthful with the public.
Had the NFL immediately suspended these players, informed the public and launched a campaign to stop and aid with domestic abuse things like #BoycottNFL and #FireGoodell may never have trended on Twitter.
_ Michaela Odens