Domestic Violence in Sports

SamBerman

In the last few weeks, professional athletes have been involved in domestic abuse cases. Most of the athletes have been punished for their wrong-doing with suspensions from their leagues, fines, and in some scenarios, jail time. Their situations have also been covered by endless news mediums, which has hurt their reputation due to exposure to the public. While most of the law-breaking athletes have been punished, others have endured less serious consequences for committing similar crimes.

The NFL has faced many problems regarding domestic abuse cases. On February 15th, 2014, Ray Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was arrested after knocking his wife unconscious in an Atlantic City casino. He was later released from jail, and the situation was described as a “minor physical altercation” by his attorney. He was set to serve a two game suspension due of his crime; the scandal was soon forgotten. On September 8th, however, video of the altercation was released to the public, and Rice was seen brutally attacking his wife in the elevator. After the release of this video, his team released him from his contract, and he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

Similarly, Hope Solo, a National Women’s Soccer League player, was involved in a domestic abuse case in June of 2012. This case has been described as a “drunken brawl” between Solo, her half-sister and her 17-year-old nephew. A trial is scheduled for this coming November, yet there have not been any consequences for Hope Solo from the NWSL. Currently, she is on path to set league records for consecutive shut-outs, and some believe that this is the reason that she has not been suspended. In response to hearing about this injustice, Kelly Hart (JR) said, “I am astonished to hear that Solo was not punished for her crime. It’s very unfair that athletes are treated differently based off of their gender.

These cases bring up the issue of gender inequality in professional sports. Reporters believe that it is unfair how differently these similar scandals are being treated and makes the public question why some scandals are overlooked and others are blown up to extreme proportions.

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