NOVAK: Time to address domestic violence in sports

Published 9:45 am Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I cannot imagine how it feels to be a woman who has been assaulted by a man.

I cannot imagine how that feels because I would never even consider striking a woman for anything. My momma raised me better than that.

In fact, all our mommas raised us better than that, but somewhere along the line, it because a social issue that seems to have no end in sight.

Day after day, we you can pick up a newspaper, for those who still do, you can turn on the television or you can get online and find another story about domestic violence.

We have got to figure out a way to end this ugly cycle.

The National Football League has another issue with domestic violence, one I really did not see coming.

But there were signs and the Kansas City Chiefs’ brass knew about them and yet they did nothing about it.

That is the problem with the issue. Nobody wants to report it, many do not want to believe it when it is reported and nobody has any idea how to stop it.

I have one suggestion for the NFL or any other sports league. This will not work for most of our society, but it can work in this particular arena.

Anyone athlete who is accused of domestic violence is immediately put on paid leave pending due legal process.

Anyone who charged with domestic violence should be immediately suspended without pay by the league until the legal proceedings have been completed.

If that individual is found guilty or pleads to any form, even a lesser charge, is cut from their team and they can no longer play professional sports in America.

That may seem harsh to some, but apparently athletes are not getting the message that this will not be tolerated. The only way to make it hit home is in the checkbooks.

I am sick and tired of some people getting a second, third or even a fourth chance when these things happen.

Quite often these players are resigned by other teams because there was no video evidence of the assault, like Reuben Foster and Greg Hardy.

But if you have a video like Ray Rice, apparently the league will make sure it goes out of its way to make sure you never play another down in the NFL.

What is the difference?

There should be none. Whether or not there is a video of the assault, if you are found guilty your playing days should be over. Plain and simple.

In the case of Hunt, the Chiefs were aware of three separate incidents involving their star running back, but did nothing until a video surfaced. They immediately dismissed him from the team.

Hunt has never been charged in any of the three incidents, which leads me to wonder how seriously our law enforcement officials take allegations involving professional athletes.

I am not naive. I know there are people out there trying to make a fast buck off of an athlete. But in a lot of cases, these assaults are real, and as a society, we need to step up and do a better job of educating everyone on what needs to be done. We need to take each case seriously until proven elsewise.

And we need to remember what our momma told us. “It is never okay to hit a woman.”

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at