By Hunter Jameson
The NFL just went through arguably the most embarrassing week in history that resulted in suspensions, criticism and backlash from fans all around the nation.
During the offseason, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended two games for a domestic abuse offense, while Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon was suspended for an entire year for failing a drug test for marijuana. What kind of message does that send to the players and fans of all ages around the world? A two-game suspension is just embarrassing for something so immoral. Ray Rice is a popular player in the Ravens’ franchise, and probably generated a lot of revenue for the sporting world. Is the reason his suspension was originally so miniscule because the league did not want to lose such a big name? If Goodell had seen the video while making the punishment, I think he should be under a severe microscope as well for the remainder of his tenure as commissioner.
In the midst of all the Rice drama, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for a child abuse case with his own son, resulting in the Vikings deactivating him Friday afternoon. It was reported that Peterson used a tree branch to strike his 4-year-old son 10 to 15 times in an act of discipline, causing injuries all over his body. Peterson basically turned himself in and feels as though he did nothing wrong due to the fact that he was spanked growing up and it helped him mature. With that mindset, there is definitely a line that you should not cross and from the description of the incident, Peterson went way too far. That kind of force coming from an NFL running back can cause serious damage to such a young child.
Peterson has been one of the top players in the league for many years and was probably admired for his perseverance after working extremely hard to recover from a torn ACL injury two years ago. After this incident, I think he lost a lot of respect or is at least thought of in a different light because of the circumstances of the situation. Discipline is definitely a part of growing up and learning lessons, but whipping your 4-year-old son with a tree branch is taking it way too far.
I think that family should be the most reliable thing for these NFL players, as so much can happen during the course of an NFL career. I hope that the sanctions stand and these players can learn their own lesson. It’s a shame that a handful of players have to tarnish the reputation of so many players that do act the right way when the media isn’t watching. The NFL officers also need to raise their own standards before things get even worse. I just hope that the rest of this drama is handled properly with morality in mind.