Many heads were turned recently when an executive vice president with the National Football League was presented with the Champions of Change award by University of Colorado Denver’s Center on Domestic Violence. It recognized his role in strengthening the league’s policies on domestic violence. This award seems oddly timed in what many see as the recent wake of a high-profile domestic violence cases in the NFL that were handled insufficiently by the league.
Detractors of the award point to a recent failure by the NFL to abide by the very rules that the awarded executive VP helped to write, when kicker Josh Brown was arrested on domestic violence charges and then subsequently suspended from play for only one game. This stands in contrast to the NFL’s policy of suspending players for at least six games for a domestic violence arrest. In the face of criticism for a seemingly light punishment, the league cited numerous roadblocks they encountered when attempting to investigate the situation. Ultimately, the player admitted to having committed the abuse, and was eventually cut loose by his team altogether, but not before further tarnishing the league’s reputation for not taking domestic abuse charges seriously.
For his part, the awarded VP spoke about how his own life had been affected as a young man growing up in a home that suffered from domestic violence. This personal understanding of the damaging effects of domestic violence drew him to take the lead on reforming the league’s standing on the issue.
Ultimately, domestic violence is a crime that has many victims and deserves to be taken seriously. At the same time, those who have been charged with domestic violence have the right to an excellent defense, just the same as everyone else. If you have been charged with domestic violence, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you navigate this difficult season and ensure that your case is heard fairly.
Source: SB Nation, “An NFL executive just received a domestic violence prevention award,” Adam Stites, Oct. 28, 2016