For many years, professional sports have contributed significantly in the society as they constantly fascinate as well as entertain their spectators. According to Mildorf, “any player who performs exemplary in these sports, the world becomes his oyster since the media and public elevate hi to the status of a living god” (90). Regrettably, behind the spectacle and glamor of professional sports often lies an unpleasant reality relating to off-field criminal activity. In the previous years, off-field criminal behaviors that involve professional athletes have comprised of physical abuse. According to Hamberger & Claire, “during the recent years, much emphasis has been placed on off-field activities exhibited by athletes” (12). Domestic abuse, sexual assault, as well as drug-related crimes. This article will look into domestic abuse because of the prevalence that it has in sports.
The consideration of the conduct of professional athletes while they are off the field is significant in several ways. According to Mann (80), the off-field behavior, such as discipline should be considered during the evaluation of the players to be in the team. There are some off-field behaviors which are deemed as being adequately detrimental towards the league, particularly in relation to discipline. It is important for a consideration to be made on what message the conduct of a professional athlete passes towards the fans. According to Hamberger & Claire (87), domestic abuse by most professional athletes is mainly linked with substance or alcohol abuse. Professional athletes are punished for the use of drugs that enhance their performance.
Domestic abuse has principally been overlooked by different professional leagues such as the NBA as well as the NFL. According to Ascione & Phil (56), this leniency persists in spite of several studies have shown that 6 percent of adults within the U.S. as well as 82 percent of the youths think that this is “not appropriate for society” to permit athletes to carry on with their sports careers even after being convicted of the violent crime of domestic abuse. It is only 14 percent of the adult population along with teens who feel like professional athletes should go unpunished as they as well deserve second chances.
Leniency against Professional Athletes by Leagues: according to Schrotenboer, there has been leniency towards players who engage in domestic abuse. Schrotenboer asserts “the law enforcement authorities have since 2006 pursued 50 NFL players for domestic abuse cases, including one for murder as well as at least five accusations of assaulting pregnant women.” He identifies three trends that illustrate the leniency that the NFL league has exercised against its players. The first trend portraying leniency is brief suspension of the players. According to him, in more than 14 cases of domestic abuse, the league or respective team have suspended a player or deactivated him mostly for a single game. It is only one player who has ever been suspended indefinitely as a result of video proof of hi punching his wife on the face. The second leniency trend is no suspension. There was no suspension in at least in 16 cases in the league, and in some cases legal charges against such players have been dropped, including one acquittal. The last act of leniency that Schrotenboer identifies is grandstand justice. Players in about 15 cases who were involved in domestic abuse were either released or re-signed by their respective teams after they were arrested for the above charges. Nevertheless, these are the players who had marginal talent on the field.
Professional athletes in different leagues ought to be held at a high standards as a result of the money they make in their professional. The money that professional athletes or the talent that they dispense in their respective leagues should not act a hindrance or obstruction towards reception of justice. It is imperative that the justice system uphold its standards by treating all the citizens with equality, as well as fairness. In fact, professional athletes ought to be held at a higher standard as they are role models in the society, and they should conduct themselves as such. As a result, there should be tougher treatment against professional athletes who abuse their wives, as this act is a destruction of the family, which is an important foundation in the U.S.
There is a contention that our professional athletes ought to be valued only by the conduct that they portray while on the field, that is, that the Hall of Fame ought to present the honor of admission on the basis of career achievement only. However, professional athletes should be role models in the society so as to earn the esteem from others as a result of their talents. There has been some reluctance by the National Basketball Association as well as the National Football League to conform to these principles. According to Mildorf (45), it is apparent that the off-field conduct of several professional athletes within these two leagues is wanting. One of the main conduct that has been reported in the past regarding some professional athletes is domestic abuse. This paper will look into the leniency that has been given to professional athletes who have a history of domestic abuse, and what are the consequences.
Professional athletes are role models in the society, and when they engage in domestic abuse – especially when they are not considered properly responsible for their conduct – it standardizes such savagery and sends the wrong message to youngster. Esta Soler, President as well as Founder of Futures Violence, expressed, "It's paramount that, in the same way as every workforce, each organization that has these issues [be it] the NFL [or] the NBA, thinks about the issue of roughness against ladies in a profoundly capable manner. Players are seen as good examples for the cutting edge. Our players are worshiped in our general public, and it is truly essential that we provide for them the devices, so they don't get in trouble. We ought not permit this conduct to proceed with unaddressed, and expert games alliances ought to make a move to avoid aggressive behavior at home by their players and make it clear that such behavior will not go on devoid of severe consequences.
The inequities within the justice system are regularly perceptible in high-profile criminal cases that involve celebrity defendants such as professional athletes. The media coverage that accompanies the cases of professional athletes in relation to domestic abuse helps them to receive preferential treatment in court. Contextually, the potential prejudices of participants within the criminal justice system, that is, the jury and the judge, towards professional athletes weaken these defendants’ capacity to receive equal justice as the average person under the law. Depending on the proof of the established influence of celebrity, status, as well as notoriety within criminal cases that involve professional athletes, even though intermittently above the law, they become subject to greater scrutiny as a result of their status as well as visibility and therefore a special court system is essential in safeguarding their right to a trial that is fair.
Ascione & Phil (90) asserts that most athletes disrespect the law as well as possess the “I want to do what I want” attitude because they have enlightenment. Ascione & Phil define “entitlement” as a belief that an individual is entitled to “whatever he wants as well as whenever he wants it.” In the instance that one has a sense of entitlement, one feels that rules and laws apply to the society but do not apply to oneself. The fact that professional athletes receive special treatment has a tendency of perpetuating the sense of enlightenment of the athletes. Additionally, high-profile athletes often develop a sense of being “entitled” towards women, and this inclination is made on the basis of the athletes’ encounters with women who pursue male athletes, being motivated by fringe benefits, money, as well as bragging rights.
Professional Athletes versus Average Person Charges for Domestic Abuses: the number of professional athletes who are charged for cases of domestic abuses is far less in comparison their counterparts, the average persons. According to Riccobono, the NFL players who have been charged for the crime of domestic abuse represent a rate of 45.2% whereas for the average persons it is 55.4% which is the national average arrests. The discrepancy in the rate of arrests is an indication of leniency that is exercised on the professional players. Numerous professional athletes who are blamed or indicted for abusive behavior at home are persistently permitted to continue playing. Cases given incorporate the NFL's Greg Hardy, and Jason Kidd, a previous NBA player who now mentors in the association both have abusive behavior at home feelings. Albeit certain groups have no-tolerance strategies against abusive behavior at home (the Seattle Mariners of the MLB are the case given by Crouse), the staggering society that saturates most of the expert games classes in the United States is one of lack of care.
Even though the competitive leagues such as the NBA and the NFL fail to release information that
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