Domestic Violence in Sports By Samuel Ludzack


Culprit- someone who is responsible for a crime or deed. In this article the author uses the word culprit to show how some people think that the reason for domestic abuse is welfare mothers. Even though the real culprits are the athletes.

Perpetrator- someone who breaks a law by doing something reckless. This is similar to the reason i need to know about the word culprit. Both words are used in the article and are important to understand.

Condemnation- the expression of disapproval. This is an important word in this article as the author states that celebrities in America are not showing condemnation towards the growing problem of domestic violence. The future of how to stop domestic violence for athletes is by condemning it, which if i did not know what condemning meant then I would not understand what is needed to stop this issue.

Allegation- A proposal or an accusation. This is important because some sports celebrities do get allegations of domestic violence or sexual abuse towards women because the athletes are rich. For the most part although, the allegations are true.

Domestic- Means at the home. This is critical to understanding my topic because my topic is domestic violence and without knowing what domestic means i could not understand my topic. Domestic violence would mean violence towards a spouse or a family member at the household.

Batterer- A person or thing that inflicts physical abuse onto a spouse, person, or child. Prior to looking this word up i was unsure to what it means. It is important to know this word because I need to understand what this word means when it is used in multiple articles.

Picture of the NFL

How are leagues and associations in the NFL, MLB, and NBA going to adapt to the increase of domestic violence?

The NFL needs to stop the amount of crime before it begins to get out of hand. These leagues need to teach players about the dangers of domestic violence and they also need to increase punishments towards the players who commit these crimes. Juliet Macur, an author from the New York TImes, said that “The league’s new and so-called improved domestic violence policy calls for a six-game suspension without pay for a first-time offender, and for a more severe penalty if ‘the act was committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child.’” The punishments in the league regarding domestic violence often fluctuate. The NFL needs to make some set in stone rules about the punishments they are making. Ronald Woods, in the novel Social Issues in Sports, Second Edition, states that “21.4% of NFL football players who had been arrested for something more serious than a minor crime as reported in Benedict’s earlier study.” This statistic shows that NFL football players are arrested very often. This shows how athletes have still not condemned many crimes and proves that the NFL needs to stop this amount of crime before it gets out of hand.

Johnny Manziel, a famous collegiate athlete throwing a pass for the Cleveland Browns, he was found guilty for beating his girlfriend.

Should the NFL and colleges make punishments harsher for athletes that are involved in domestic violence and sexual assault cases?

The NCAA and NFL should make their punishments harder on athletes who commit crimes involving domestic violence and sexual assault. The NFL has shown that they are not trying hard enough to discipline their players about domestic violence. According to the Office for Civil Rights’s, “There are 306 sexual-violence investigations currently pending at postsecondary institutions.” Clearly from this statistic it is shown that domestic violence and sexual assault is an obvious problem and on campus’ in particular. If these specific colleges began to enforce harsher punishments then more and more players would stop committing these horrible crimes. The NFL and colleges need to increase the punishment in order to force players to stop getting involved in sexual assault cases. Juliet Macur, a writer for the New York Times, said in an article that “The N.F.L. does so many things that are inexplicable or inexcusable. But the way it treats women and the men who abuse them is on top of that list. The N.F.L. has proved that it simply doesn’t care.” Players who are being involved in criminal cases are clearly not getting enough of a punishment and because of this the NFL is gaining a bad reputation.

Wilt Chamberlain, a basketball player who claimed to have sex with thousands of women.

Why are athletes involved with domestic violence cases so often?

Athletes are found most often being involved in domestic violence cases because the famous people in the world today have not condemned sexual assault and domestic abuse as a bad thing. Although some people believe that the reason that athletes are involved in these cases is because of the athletes aggressive on the field nature impacts their off field behavior. Ronald B. Woods, a PhD, states in an excerpt that “A three-year study showed that while male student-athletes make up 3% of the population on college campuses, they account for 19% of sexual assaults and 35% of domestic assaults on college campuses.” This shows how the male athletes are being involved in sexual and violent cases more than they probably should be. The best way to solve it is to show shame towards these people who commit these crimes and to condemn sexual abuse and domestic violence. Fernando Mederos says that “domestic violence for celebrities still is not seen as a crime and that is the source of the crimes taking place.” This is a quote from a domestic violence expert, and he says that the root of the problem is how celebrities do not see domestic violence and sexual abuse as a crime. This is leading more and more athletes and other major celebrities to become involved in domestic violence cases.

Johnny Manziel a football player in college who was found guilty of beating his girlfriend

Why is domestic violence with sports athletes much more publicized than non celebrities involved in sports?

Domestic violence in sports is talked about much more than normal domestic violence crimes and it is unfair for the athletes. The media definitely gives more attention to sports and domestic violence than they do for just domestic violence in average people's lives. Ronald B. Woods, a PhD, says that “The general population has a conviction rate of 80% for sexual assaults, while the rate for athletes is only 38%.” Ronald Woods suggests that the reason that sexual assaults crimes committed by athletes become more publicized because the athletes get away with crimes much more often than the general public has. This causes a suspicion for the media and makes them focus on the issues of sports with domestic violence. Joyce Williams-Mitchell, the executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women’s Service Groups, eludes that “Most batterers are men who control women through their profession, and they include police officers, clergymen, dentists, and judges. Athletes get the headlines, though, and an unfair public rap. Men from every profession (regardless of race) have the potential to be batterers” Athletes get the headlines and get the unfair, bad publicity. Athletes are always put in the public eye and when the athletes make a mistake they become infamous for these awful crimes.

Adrian Peterson, a football player caught up in allegations regarding him beating his son.

Will domestic violence and sexual abuse continue to be a problem for colleges and professional sports? Will this continue to affect the number of fans?

At the rate that domestic violence and sexual assaults are occurring, the crimes will continue to be a problem in the sports world and it will continue to affect the television ratings of these leagues. Fans will begin to be sickened more and more by the players who commit these crimes and will eventually lose support for the sport. Juliet Macur, author for the New York Times, states that “television ratings for the N.F.L. are down 11 percent this season, and league officials have been grasping for possible explanations.” Many people are looking for reasons as to why the NFL is achieving very low TV ratings. One reason for this is that, the domestic violence crimes that have been occurring with little punishment from the NFL is causing fans to lose interest. Rita Smith, of the Denver-based National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says that "Sports teams seem to be very hesitant to work with this issue… all sports teams take the same kind of stand against spousal abuse as they do [against] drugs - refuse to allow their employees to participate in that kind of behavior - they can discourage that behavior.” Sports teams are being overly hesitant with this issue and are not willing to take a stand against these injustices. In response to this, these fans are losing interest due to the lack of punishment for poor behavior. As domestic violence and sexual assault continue to happen in sports these sports will lose more and more interest.


Woods, Ronald. “Does on-field violent behavior lead to off-field violence?” Human Kinetics, Social Issues in Sports.

Macur, Juliet. “NFL Shows It Doesn't Really Care About Domestic Violence.” Sports of the Times, New York TImes. Oct 21. 2016.

Jones, Maya. “Talking race, rape and sexual assault at the black student-athlete summit.” The Undefeated. ESPN. January 26. 2017.

Bowers, Faye. “Spouse abuse and sports: Do teams drop the ball?” Christian Science Monitor. July 1. 1997.

Glatter, Hayley. “How do States handle Sexual Assault on Campus?” The Atlantic. January 29. 2017.

Page, Clarence. THE REAL CULPRIT IN DOMESTIC ABUSE." ProQuest. June 10. 1996.

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