NFL news should prompt us to reduce violence in every aspect of life [Letter]

  • Janay Rice and her husband, then-Ravens running back Ray Rice, at a news conference in May at the Under Armour Performance Center.
Janay Rice and her husband, then-Ravens running back Ray Rice,… (Kenneth K. LAM, Baltimore…)
September 19, 2014

Recent events in the news have called attention to domestic violence, particularly in association with the NFL. Ray Rice is at the forefront, but Adrian Peterson has also been charged with child abuse.

In the past other star athletes have been charged with sexual abuse or even murder. As a nation we are outraged by the NFL's handling of all these events past and present.

Sitting in front of our TVs waiting to see how the NFL and its executives will be punished enthralls us.

But how many of us have watched what is unfolding on TV and gotten up to do something to help others who are experiencing violence in their lives, domestic or otherwise?

There are many forms of violence, and while the NFL is currently ensnared in controversy involving its handling of the issue, we also should keep in mind that there are many forms of abuse: domestic, sexual, verbal. While it is necessary to ensure justice is done, perhaps we can do more than just blame the NFL, make Ray Rice pay and analyze Janay Rice's decision to stay with him, which seems to be what media coverage has been focusing on.

We all know from experience that ensuring justice is more complicated than it may seem. Maybe we could use this incident as a catalyst for discussion and ask ourselves something more important than whom we slap in irons.

We should ask ourselves how do we stop violent acts from occurring in the first place? Can we come up with ways to precipitate change in our thoughts, words and actions?

It's a tough question and it doesn't have a simple answer. But that doesn't mean it's not worth looking into and trying to come up with something better than we have had in the past. After all, that is how progress is made.

The media coverage is raising awareness, but we could do one better and actually talk about ways to reduce violence in our neighborhoods, our homes, our words, our thoughts and in our hearts. Then go out and do that a nation.

Amanda Burke

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