Is domestic violence in sports a concern?

An Op/Ed

Josh Calloni, Reporter

Domestic violence is a problem that many sports leagues face, and it happens quite often, especially in the NFL and MLB. While it happens in the NHL and NBA, it is far less common, based off of stats from ESPN, than it is in the NFL and MLB. Most recently in the MLB, players like Steven Wright, Miguel Sano, and Derek Norris were all suspended, and two of the cases were dropped. In Wright’s case, he did not receive a suspension, Norris was suspended the remainder of the season, but it started in September, the last month.  however his team, the Rays, released him soon after, and he didn’t have to serve it. Sano’s case has yet to be investigated. As for the NFL, Tramaine Brock and Saints coach Tom Cable have been under fire, but neither have received a punishment of any sort.

Many people wonder why this happens so much. If it is because the leagues punishments are harsh enough, and players might see it as no big set back. Or are the players just are aggressive, and that their actions get blown out of the water because of their fame? One thing is for sure, the fines that players get when suspended for domestic violence is not very big, usually less than 10 thousand dollars, which is pocket change for most athletes. To go along with that, suspensions usually aren’t very harsh. For the NFL, standard punishment is 4 games, which is a quarter of the season, and for baseball, the punishment ranges from 30 to 80 games, which is anywhere from a small portion of the season to just under half. Usually, both rely on how bad the incident was.

There is a real limit on what leagues can do, however. Most athletes have very good lawyers, so any overly harsh punishment could be upheld in court, or knocked down. Leagues also don’t wanna take away too much from a team as a whole, because if one player misbehaves, per say, the whole team suffers, which, the league’s don’t deem as fair, making potential long term punishments difficult to hand out. On top of that, longer punishments could deter other athletes to commit domestic violence, and would, potentially, eliminate the whole problem.

I think the issue has a lot to do with the less strict punishments handed out to players, they see it as just a bit of cash they have to give back, or a few extra weeks off in the middle of the season. Rarely ever does the player see jail time, and if they do it’s not for more than a night or two.