Kicker’s release shines light on domestic violence in the NFL

Many people in New Jersey are victims of domestic violence, and they are far from alone. More than 10 million people are harmed by an intimate partner each year, reports the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and some offenders display a repeated pattern of behavior.

A kicker for the New York Giants was released from the team this week after it became apparent that his history of domestic violence was more extensive than previously reported. In light of several high-profile cases of domestic violence involving players in recent years, the National Football League adopted a new policy in 2014 requiring first-time offenders to be suspended for six games. That penalty can be lengthened or shortened at the league’s discretion.

The Giants suspended the player for one game in connection with a 2015 incident. However, he was allowed to remain on the team until new details of the case were recently released, including emails and diary entries in which he admitted abusing his then spouse. Many have been critical of the NFL for treating less serious offenses more harshly than when players abuse a loved one. The Giants have also faced criticism from those who believe they should have been aware of the extent of the kicker’s history. Further punishment from the league may forthcoming.

It can be difficult for victims to act when there are so many things at stake. Those who have been harmed by a loved one are protected under the law and may wish to contact an experienced lawyer.

Source: NPR, “Giants Cut Kicker Josh Brown Over Domestic Abuse Allegations,” Merrit Kennedy, Oct. 25, 2016