The NFL can’t shake its reputation as being enablers of domestic violence as Colin Kaepernick’s career withers away.
The sun rises, and the sun sets, and there inevitably emerges yet another reason people are still furious over the fact that Colin Kaepernick hasn’t landed a gig in the National Football League. Reuben Foster has been having a great deal trouble keeping his hands to himself for at least as long as he’s been in the NFL.
Considering he was just drafted last year, it isn’t a bridge too far to believe that Foster likely has been involved in domestic violence situations prior to them coming under the scrutiny of the national media. Last week, the San Francisco 49ers finally released Reuben Foster, whose name keeps being put in the same sentence as “domestic violence” more than it is spoken in the of context actually playing the game of football.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been giving lip service to the idea of attacking domestic violence in the NFL for at least four years. However, the distances between spoken word and the performed action are vast.
From the perspective of some, domestic violence has been part of the NFL from its inception.
11 years ago, Goodell named himself judge, jury, and executioner on all affairs concerning players off-the-field conduct.
“It is my job — not law enforcement’s job — to protect the National Football League,” he said at the time.
According to a 2014 New York Times article that examined fines and penalties meted out by the NFL since Goodell became “all-powerful” reveals that players were given harsh penalties (two or more games) for drunken driving, marijuana possession, and weapons charges.
But was far less trigger happen when it came to punishing those who were accused of domestic violence.
According to the piece, the “vast majority” of players charged with domestic violence received one-game suspensions, and that’s if they were suspended at all.
This was the case even when the accused pleaded down to lesser related charges, or entered a pretrial intervention program of some sort. One of the most egregious instances of this scenario was when former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was accused of striking his wife after a sickening video of him dragging his wife’s limpless body was caught on video.
He was initially only suspended for two games.
He was immediately excoriated for the lenient sentence. Only then did Goodell see fit to raise the league’s punishment for first-time domestic violence offenders to six games. After video surfaced showing Ray Rice delivered a powerful punch that would have leveled a heavyweight fighter did Goodell see fit to suspend him indefinitely.
In the case of Reuben Foster, the former Alabama standout was arrested twice in February 2018 on domestic violence and gun-related charges. He was also arrested in September 2016 for alleged assault. However, after serving a two-game suspension Foster was allowed back with the San Francisco 49ers after his accuser recanted her story, instead of saying she made it up to get back at him.
Despite the fact that it is entirely plausible for victims of domestic violence to protect their abuser from justice, the NFL took her claims that she lied for face value. But now, guess what? The very same woman who said she lied about the domestic violence accusations back in February is the one who is now saying he is an abuser.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 27, 2018
My initial take before even reading the above statement from Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams, who does not have the power to sign any player, is why is he tasked with writing this letter?
Second, for Doug Williams to say Foster’s teammates vouched for him as if that’s some kind of moral barometer, means that both he and the NFL as a whole really don’t have a problem insulting our intelligence with a crowbar.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the couple was still in an ‘on again, off again’ relationship when the second incident occurred. Foster, a linebacker bristling with muscle, is accused of slapping the phone out of his girlfriend’s hand and hitting her in the face hard enough to leave a bruise. After whiffing on releasing him during the during the off-season, the Niners have had enough. But apparently, the Washington Redskins needed even more negative energy aimed at them other than that they get from having a racial slur as their team name.
They snatched him off the waiver wire like a hot biscuit before it had time to cool, and like that proverbial biscuit, Foster is burning Washington’s palms right now. Opinion pieces and cable news network talking heads are all speaking about how despicable the move is, and that prompted the Redskins to respond.
While the ‘Skins are taking all the flak, it is of note that of all teams interested in Foster while he was on waivers, only the Philadelphia Eagles bothered to contact the Tampa Police and investigate the extent of the charges on their own.
However, through all this, the thing that is most striking to me is that an act of protest over a legitimate societal concern by Colin Kaepernick is enough to cause him to be effectively banned from the NFL while a person who appears to have a problem controlling himself is welcomed with open arms.
For that, the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL (except for the Philadelphia Eagles) can kiss my black a**.