Men can be abused, too

The times have changed in professional sports. No longer are the days of athletes telling the young fans to take their vitamins and say their prayers. Now it seems many of them are more infatuated with making money or doing whatever it takes to gain a title. I can remember growing up and looking up to players like Peyton Manning and Brett Favre of the NFL. These days, names such as Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice have filled the headlines regarding the NFL. 

Both Peterson and Rice have been tangled in domestic abuse cases. Rice has been cut by his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, and suspended from the league indefinitely for knocking out his then-fiance in a hotel elevator. As for Peterson, he has yet to be involved with Minnesota Viking activities since he was indicted on reckless or negligent injury to a child, and has lost sponsorships with Nike. Both athletes have had their careers put on hold, lost millions and may never play in the NFL again. It did not take long for the league to react to these cases, as punishments were handed out days, if not hours, after details of these crimes were released. 

The action taken against Peterson and Rice was swift and harsh, which is for the best. Kids look up to these men as role models. As professional athletes, they have the power to stand up against domestic abuse and lead the new generation into a brighter future. If a pro athlete cannot do this, it is up to a higher power to fix the problem, and that is exactly what the NFL did. 

Domestic violence is not only a problem for male athletes. Young girls and boys look up to Hope Solo, the goalkeeper for the Woman’s National Soccer Team. While Solo’s play on the field is second to none, her actions off the field have left many to question whether she is the role model they believed her to be. This past June, Solo was charged with two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence when she allegedly punched and tackled her sister and 17-year old nephew. Since pleading not guilty to these allegations, Solo has played in several exhibition matches and has even captained the team on occasion. Major sponsorships such as Nike and McDonalds still back the star keeper. 

This begs the question: “Do we have a double standard in this country for domestic violence cases involving woman as the perpetrators?” The careers of Rice and Peterson will never be the same, yet, Solo continues to lead “America’s Team” into the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. 

In order to rid the nation of domestic violence, there must be an even playing field when it comes to punishment. We cannot allow anybody to get by with a simple slap on the wrist, no matter the sport, victim or gender.