Tags: Steve Malzberg Show | nfl | domestic | child | abuse | tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton: NFL Must Have 'Zero Tolerance' for Abusive Players

By    |   Thursday, 18 September 2014 05:01 PM

The scandal-scarred NFL must have "zero tolerance" for players who beat their spouses or abuse their kids — and have the guts to kick them out of the league forever, former star quarterback Fran Tarkenton says.

"We don't need this to be something that's pushed under the table," Tarkenton said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"We cannot let these people get away with this. We've got to have zero tolerance here and the National Football League cannot just spin this."

The NFL Hall of Famer's no-nonsense warning came as the league struggled to contain a growing backlash from its lenient behavior toward players facing domestic violence and child abuse allegations.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was hit with a two-game suspension after cold-cocking his wife-to-be in a casino elevator. But after TMZ released a shocking video of the attack, the NFL suspended him indefinitely because of the public outcry.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was kept out of last weekend’s game following a child abuse allegation, but cleared to resume team practice this week. The Vikings then flip-flopped and banned him from all team activities.

Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers was deactivated after initially being allowed to play after found guilty of threatening to kill his girlfriend, although he still collects his $13.2 million salary. And on Wednesday, The Arizona Cardinals' Jonathan Dwyer was charged in connection with a domestic violence case.

"These football players are doing awful things … and we've got to not sweep this under the rug," said Tarkenton, who led the Minnesota Vikings in three Super Bowls before joining the New York Giants.

"The NFL — it's big business. The first thing [it does] is spin control and, oh, maybe it's not so bad, and not this, and not that."

Tarkenton — author of "Every Day is Game Day" — believes Rice should be banned from the NFL forever.

"[From] what I've seen there and what we know there, he should never play on an NFL team again. He should not have that privilege and what I've seen of Greg Hardy, same thing," he said.

"This is a societal problem, it's been going on a long time, and not much has been done … Boy, it would be a terrible mark on the NFL if they don't follow through on this. It'll be a horrible mark on the teams if they don't follow through with this."

Tarkenton said the league has also turned a blind eye to the use — and abuse — of performance-enhancing drugs by players.

"The league has to transform because all the way back in 1961, we have been a drug infested league. Drug infested. Pain pills, horrible pain drugs, and we're worse today," he said.

"Performance enhancing drugs, steroids, you name them, to get bigger and stronger and it's just gone unattended. We have pushed it under the rug.

"The owners don't even talk about what's going on in their locker rooms with people putting on 40 and 50 and 60 pounds by taking high-power performance-enhancing drugs that they do not monitor. They look the other way."

Tarkenton believes the culture of violence the NFL has been hit with may be partially the result of illicit drugs.

"Today we have more violence on the field than ever before because when you put these drugs into these people, they are bigger, they are stronger, they're faster, and the contact is more than ever before," he said.

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The scandal-scarred NFL must have zero tolerance for players who beat their spouses or abuse their kids- and have the guts to kick them out of the league forever, former star quarterback Fran Tarkenton says.
nfl, domestic, child, abuse, tarkenton
Thursday, 18 September 2014 05:01 PM
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