The events of the past few weeks have shined a rather uncomfortable light on both the National Football League and all sports fans.
Many fans find themselves forced to review how highly they prioritize being entertained by people worshiped as heroes and demigods. They have also confronted the reality that these individuals are human and often fallible.
Sometimes these players are fallible in ways that make ANY positive support offered to them, on or off the field, utterly tasteless.
Most importantly, NFL fans are now examining the terrible example long set by the league as to how NFL players guilty of criminal and deviant behaviors are treated.
The league has long been criticized for hypocrisy, inefficiency, and even accused of being far too forgiving of criminal offenders within their ranks.
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) September 17, 2014
With this light shining so brightly on how the National Football League treats such serious and disturbing matters, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was left with no alternative but to update the league's policies regarding acts of domestic violence.
Players found guilty of a single act of domestic violence will be banned for six weeks. A second offense results in banishment from the league. It is possible for the player to petition for reinstatement, but he must wait a full year.
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) September 14, 2014
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested a few weeks ago for an incident of domestic violence involving his fiance. She showed bruises to police that she alleged were caused by McDonald.
It’s not known how the 49ers will respond in the future, but they have not moved to remove the player from their roster and he is presently available to play. His situation has come into the spotlight thanks in large part due to the Ray Rice controversy.
— [ NFL News ] (@GetInsideNFL) September 15, 2014
In the meantime these incidents and the response by NFL teams and the league itself will continue to be a source of major contention and discussion.
Since domestic violence is a topic that few people willingly participate in, these events are good for bringing this serious and widespread problem to the attention of a much larger global audience.