Professional athletes who engage in domestic abuse need to be reprimanded


Courtesy of Keith Allison

Baltimore Ravens Training Camp August 20, 2009.

The sports industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries in the whole world. Domestic violence is one of the most common crimes among professional male athletes.

Domestic abuse among professional athletes is not a new problem. However, it has become a nationally known issue after Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulted his wife in 2014.

The NFL is a prime example of a sports franchise that has had several instances of domestic violence where the abuse is among professional athletes and their spouses. Football is commonly the center of attention when it comes to this issue.

The conduct policy of the NFL stated that players would be disciplined for domestic abuse offenses, but Rice walked with a two game suspension.

“They [professional athletes] think they’re above the law because they have this ego,” Joey Sayeg, a Criminal Justice major from San Jose State University said. “[Rice’s] two-game suspension was whack and I’m glad no one picked him up since.”

Rice is one of many professional athletes the sports world excuses his act of domestic abuse due to his abilities on the field. Floyd Mayweather Jr., the world’s highest-paid athlete, was charged with domestic violence on several occasions.

The World Boxing Federation and the Nevada Athletics Commission have rules and regulations prohibiting boxers to commit sexual assault or domestic violence.

In 2001, Mayweather and the mother of his daughter, Melissa Brim, got into an argument over child support. According to the court documents, Mayweather swung a car door open, slammed it against her head and then punched her in the face three times.

In 2003, Josie Harris, mother of Mayweather’s three children, told police that he had repeatedly punched her, kicked her and even dragged her by the hair.

“My babies’ father just beat me up,” Harris told the 9-1-1 operator.

However, Mayweather’s domestic abuse charges are not talked about in comparison to his income and his undefeated record of 48-0.

In 2013, Bruno Fernandes de Souza, a Brazilian goalkeeper was sentenced to a 22-year jail term for murdering his girlfriend and feeding her body to his dogs. Since February, he has been released on appeal.

However, he had been signed by Boa Esporte on March 14. As a result of his signing, three sponsors had ended their partnerships with the club

Until recently, domestic abuse incidents were largely ignored in professional sports as leagues are quite lenient on their players. Many athletes who are accused and even convicted of domestic violence are still allowed to play.

The lenient nature of the sports leagues against abusive athletes isn’t hard to overlook. It is crucial for leagues to take these acts of violence seriously and the abusers must be held accountable for their actions.