For the last several weeks, the NFL has been in the cross-hairs of public scrutiny in how the league handles domestic violence issues involving its players. There have been wide inconsistencies from the league office, as well as each team, with respect to the cases that have surfaced lately from players accused of domestic violence. Roger Goodell is meeting with the press today to address this hot issue and the NFL's Personal Conduct policy.
Goodell press conference scheduled for 3 pm today on domestic violence issues and the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) September 19, 2014
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will have a news conference today at 3 pm ET at the NY Hilton Midtown on the domestic violence issues, etc— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 19, 2014
Ray Rice may never again play in the NFL, but a dozen other players with domestic violence arrests are still suiting up on Sundays.
Ray McDonald and Chris Cook of the San Francsico 49ers, Tony McDaniel and Kevin Williams of the Seattle Seahawks, Brandon Marshall and Santonio Holmes of the Chicago Bears, Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers, Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, Erik Walden of the Indianapolis Colts, Donte Whitner of the Cleveland Browns, Randy Starks of the Miami Dolphins and Frostee Rucker of the Arizona Cardinals have all been arrested for domestic violence or related charges since 2005, according to a USA Today database that tracks players' arrests since 2000.
Some fought the charges and won. Others accepted blame, served short suspensions and returned to the game. The rest are still waiting for their day in court, the focus of intense new scrutiny as America’s most powerful sports league faces growing criticism over its handling of players’ off-the-field conduct.
Domestic violence and related incidents rank among the NFL’s biggest off-the-field problems, with 87 arrests involving 80 players over the last 14 years. The only other crime category with a larger number of arrests involving NFL players is DUI.
This hot-topic is not going away anytime soon, nor should it. Tune in later today to see what the NFL Commissioner has to say.