Tags: Barack Obama | NFL | domestic abuse | White House

White House: NFL Needs to Rein In Its 'Role Models'

Image: White House: NFL Needs to Rein In Its 'Role Models'
Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:59 AM

As domestic violence cases continue to lash the National Football League, President Barack Obama is staking out a lead position on the issue, demanding that the NFL "get a handle on" how it deals with players accused of such acts.

"The NFL has an obligation not only to their fans but to the American people to properly discipline anyone involved in domestic violence or child abuse and more broadly, gain control of the situation," a White House official told CBS News.

"Many of these professional athletes are marketed as role models to young people, and so their behavior does have the potential to influence these young people, and it's one of the many reasons it's important that the league get a handle on this and have a zero tolerance" policy on domestic violence.

When Obama first saw the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend, now wife, unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator with a vicious left hook, "The president was shocked by what he saw — let's put it that way," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Domestic violence opponents and many senators and congressmen were infuriated when Rice was initially suspended for just two games. The Ravens and NFL later dropped Rice's contract and suspended him indefinitely in response to the pressure.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest released a statement saying, "The president is the father of two daughters. And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society. Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors.

"Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football — and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it."

However, the flood of domestic violence cases in the NFL has continued. Carolina Panthers end Greg Hardy was convicted of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend.

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested for beating up his girlfriend and the team dropped him until his legal issues are resolved. San Francisco 49ers tackle Ray McDonald was arrested for assaulting his fiancée, and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse, Sports Illustrated reports.

The White House also is taking action by starting a new program to combat rape on college campuses, called "It's On Us," The Washington Post reports.


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As domestic violence cases continue to lash the National Football League, President Obama is staking out a lead position on the issue, demanding that the NFL "get a handle on" how it deals with players accused of such acts.
NFL, domestic abuse, White House
416
2014-59-19
Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:59 AM
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