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Commentary: NFL should crack down on domestic violence

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Julian Mininsohn, Podcast Producer

Julian Mininsohn, Podcast Producer

The topic of domestic violence just doesn’t seem to stop coming up in the NFL.

After Adrian Peterson’s child abuse incident, Ray Rice’s elevator debacle and Frank Clark’s hotel scene, I was hopeful the violence would subside.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is the latest member of the NFL domestic violence club.

Hardy was suspended for 10 games without pay for the upcoming season after a two-month NFL investigation found “sufficient credible evidence” that Hardy physically abused his former girlfriend in 2014.

While the problem does lie with Hardy and others in the domestic violence conversation, there is an issue when it comes to punishment.

Sure, Hardy will not play for a little while or get part of his $13 million contract, but he still gets to participate in all preseason activities with the Cowboys.

Once that 10-game suspension is over, he is back on the field playing like nothing really happened.

It seems like the NFL is throwing out suspensions left and right without seeing the bigger picture.

After the NFL suspended both Peterson and Rice, they both were reinstated.

Rice won an appeal for his suspension, meaning now he is able to play as soon as a team signs him.

The NFL reinstated Peterson after he told Commissioner Roger Goodell that he will continue an “ongoing program and treatment as recommended by medical advisers.”

In Peterson’s case, that was a program and treatment recommended by medical professionals. Not himself.

Mind you, Peterson turned himself in for injuring his child, and Rice was caught on surveillance tape hitting his wife and dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator. Yet, these two may be taking snaps in the NFL next season.

Last week, the Seattle Seahawks selected Clark, a defensive end from Michigan, as the second round pick and 63rd overall.

Clark was arrested Nov. 15 after allegedly beating up his then-girlfriend, Diamond Hurt, at a Sandusky, Ohio, hotel.

Michigan kicked Clark off the team two days after his arrest. He was charged with first-degree misdemeanor assault and domestic violence.

Seahawks manager John Schneider said that they investigated the issue and said the NFL would have not drafted Clark in the first place if they believed he did it.

My solution: The NFL needs to shed light on a dark issue. The league should require all players to attend a domestic violence workshop of some sort.

In addition, if players violate the NFL’s policies on domestic violence, they should be required to participate in extra seminars or therapy on top of the suspension or fine they receive.

The suspension serves no purpose if players do not learn from their mistakes. It is equivalent to taking a toy away from a child and giving it back without addressing the reason for taking it away in the first place.

Just because these players get paid millions, are on television and seen as celebrities does not make them bigger than a regular citizen or able to break the law without consequence.

The idea is awareness and education.

Julian Mininsohn, a senior journalism major, is podcast producer for the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at julian.mininsohn@laverne.edu and on Twitter @JMininsohn.

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