The NFL and Domestic Violence

Here we go again. Another NFL player is caught on tape beating a woman. When does this stop? Why is it even happening? Although we’ve seen many cases of this over the last few years, I’m going to talk about the ones that seem to be at the forefront; the ones that people are comparing to each other. Despite their similarities, each of them have their differences as well. Kareem Hunt, Joe Mixon, and Ray Rice.

Some of the things I’ll bring up may not be something you agree on. I’ll also talk out of both sides of my mouth at some point. Issues like these are not easy to talk about, nor is there a right or wrong opinion on some of the finer points. One thing is clear to everyone though, or at least I hope. Don’t hit women. It’s that easy. While you’re at it, don’t put yourself in a position where you think that might be an option. Live your life in a way  that removes this type of controversy.

Kareem Hunt was captured on video in an altercation that took place in a hotel in Cleveland this past February. The video was originally described as brutal. It was bad, but I think that’s exaggerated a bit. The worst hit she took was when another man was shoved into her. Why Hunt kicked her when she was on the ground is something I’ll never understand. Was he asserting his dominance or is he just stupid? Hunt’s side claims she dropped ethnic slurs and hit him first. There is no video or audio proof of that though. The NFL, upon seeing the video, immediately put him on the exempt list. They are now also investigating an incident from June where he punched a man in the face. The Chiefs released him as soon as they saw the video. Most critics of the handling of this entire fiasco are blaming the Chiefs because they knew about it when it happened. In their defense, they tried on 2 occasions to acquire the video. The hotel refused to release it to them because they weren’t law enforcement. The Cleveland police refused to let them view it as well. The Kansas City Chiefs’ hands are clean, in my opinion.

On to Joe Mixon now. Right before he was drafted, a video surfaced that showed him knocking a woman out. What was clear in the video was the woman arguing and then hitting him. According to witnesses, she also spit on him and called him an ethnic slur. Unlike the Hunt incident, Mixon’s was a reactionary response by a teenager. I’m not condoning what he did, I’m just saying it’s different from leaving a hotel room and deliberately kicking someone. The similarity here is the use of the almighty n-bomb by the victims. Hot take alert, I hope you’re sitting down. The black community tosses this word around like it’s a common noun. If you use the word, you simply cannot be offended by it. That’s called being a hypocrite. If you want the word to go away, stop using it yourself. It’s an ugly word, a hateful word. It has no place in society. I don’t care if you use it as a reference to a friend or if you’re singing a song; stop using it. No defense you could muster can possibly sway me on this.

Ray Rice was all but officially banned from the NFL after his video surfaced. I doubt many are complaining about it either. It was brutal, it was savage, it was disgusting. He severely physically abused his fiancé and dragged her down a hallway. There is nothing he could say that could defend his actions. Nothing. This is also where the NFL initially dropped the ball on these matters. They had seen the video and simply did nothing. Strides have been made since then to clean up the league regarding domestic violence, but this was a bad look.

Here’s the bottom line, like I mentioned earlier; stop putting yourself in these situations. Now to play devil’s advocate, what if Hunt or Mixon had punched a man? Would we still be talking about it? If I put myself in Mixon’s shoes, and someone spit on me and hit me, I’m swinging regardless of what plumbing God has bestowed upon you. You don’t act like that, men or women. Yes, you shouldn’t hit women, you shouldn’t hit anyone. But there are lines that get crossed where all of our social mores get thrown out the window. In Hunt’s case, whether the person was male or female, he had every opportunity, or so it seems, to remove himself from the situation. He didn’t, though. He engaged, and therein lies the problem.

We’ll see in the next couple of days whether or not any team claims Kareem Hunt. It would be risky and the team would get dragged through the media mud. You can rest assured that more details will come out. How they affect Kareem Hunt and the whole case in general remains to be seen. This much is obvious; Kareem Hunt has some issues that he needs to deal with. He needs to get help if he wants to play football again. But more importantly, he needs to help himself on a personal level.

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