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NFL debates punishment for players involved in domestic violence

There is no doubt that many things can influence the type of person an individual becomes, and role models -- good and bad -- have more power than perhaps people realize. Sadly, some individuals commit crimes because they have molded their personalities based on a poor example set by a particular public figure. Sports figures are among those who can, on occasion, wield the greatest power. NFL owners, including those from California, recently participated in their fall meetings, and one item on their agenda this year specifically included domestic violence.

The league is experiencing a heightened awareness of its teams' social responsibility. Following recent adverse press coverage of the perceived leniency of punishments meted out to sporting personalities in the wake of incidents of domestic violence involving its players, there is a general feeling that the game's integrity, as a whole, may now be called into question. A powerful 40-minute video presentation by a former NFL player formed part of the process of educating the owners about the various problems that can arise as a product of domestic abuse. As a result, the NFL is now discussing what punishments would give a clear message that such transgressions will not be tolerated.

The term "domestic abuse" covers a variety of events such as physical, verbal and emotional abuse, and includes the abuse of children within a relationship who may also be subjected to beatings, or worse. How the NFL deals with players who are shown to have been involved in such behavior can have a huge impact on how society, as a whole, views this issue. Bringing such a traditionally well-concealed subject into the open, with the full backing of major sporting associations such as the NFL, will assist greatly with the ongoing struggle to show just how prevalent this problem is.

Domestic violence is never acceptable. California residents who find themselves exposed to such behavior can seek support from various sources, despite what they may be told by the perpetrators of such behavior. This holds true even if an abuser claims the abuse to be a one-time occurrence -- even then, seeking appropriate advice and support on how to protect oneself from further abuse is both prudent and justified.

Source: 760kfmb.com, "NFL owners' meetings focus on personal conduct", Barry Wilner, Oct. 8, 2014

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