NFL Watch: The Ray Rice Coverup & Charges Against a Female Soccer Player

2Photo: REX USA/MediaPunch Inc.
It's easy to forget that domestic violence isn't a gendered issue. This week's reminder of that very point comes in the discussion no one's having about Hope Solo. The U.S. Women's Soccer player played in a match Thursday night against Mexico — a successful 4-0 win. Yet, she's facing domestic violence charges after she was accused of punching her sister and teenaged nephew in the face this summer.
Solo's plead not guilty and will go to trial in November. But, in the meantime, the U.S. Women's Soccer National Team has come under scrutiny for allowing Solo to continue to play — despite the court-mandated restraining order and sobriety tests, and the clear injuries to her sister and nephew's faces.
As The New York Times writes, "one can argue the differences between an NFL player punching his soon-to-be-wife and a soccer star brawling with her family, but it is indisputable that both qualify as domestic violence." Are we overlooking this incident because a woman was culpable? Solo issued an apology to her fans on Facebook — what she calls "a highly unfortunate incident." But, as the Times writes, Solo doesn't belong back on the field amidst these charges. "Not in a world in which female and male athletes are ever to be treated equally."
Here's what else happened in sports this week:
The Ray Rice controversy sounds increasingly like a Hollywood movie plot. The latest report from ESPN claims the Baltimore Ravens tried to prevent the elevator footage from going public. The team attempted a rather intricate coverup, which ESPN exposed on Friday. "There's some things you can cover up and then there's some things you can't," says former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
Many this week were surprised to learn the NFL holds a tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D - NV) joined Senators Maria Cantwell (D - WA) and Tim Johnson (D - SD) in a proposal to remove the League's tax exemption for as long as it uses and promotes the Redskins name.
Senator Cory Booker (D - NJ) also has a proposal that would eliminate tax exemption for the NFL, sending all its tax proceeds to domestic-violence programs.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had a pretty terrible press conference on Friday. John Oliver went to town on that one.
NPR asks why we're focusing on domestic violence in the NFL when figures show rates of domestic abuse are much higher in the U.S. Army. As many have pointed out at this stage, the issue is much larger than football.
The New York Times discusses how the controversial events in the NFL have given female reporters a clearer, more present voice in a conversation typically dominated by male broadcasters.
After last night's overtime matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, DeShawn Sead proposed to this girlfriend on the field. Now all I want is to hear Richard Sherman's commentary as he filmed it.
Click through to see more updates.
455516156Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.
This week, controversy surrounding the NFL and its players' off-field conduct took another disappointing dive. Jonathan Dwyer, a second-string running back for the Arizona Cardinals, was arrested on Wednesday for domestic violence charges, including aggravated assault and preventing someone from calling 911. The Cardinals have deactivated him following accusations of Dwyer's abuse against both his wife and toddler.
The Cardinals released the following statement on Twitter on Wednesday:
If Dwyer is charged, he will receive a six-game suspension, per the NFL's new regulations. However, if he's charged for two separate DV incidents, the League must suspend him indefinitely.
Though the Cardinals aren't required to release Dwyer for a single DV charge, some think the team will have no choice but to let him go, given the fallout from Ray Rice and potentially alienating a large female fan base.
More NFL news you need to know:
- The NFL Players Association filed an appeal on behalf of Ray Rice Tuesday night. It asks that the new regulations against domestic violence be overruled in Rice's situation and that an impartial third party weigh in on the decision.
- Adrian Peterson, a running back for the Minnesota Vikings, faces child abuse charges. Though the team initially allowed him to continue practicing, it overturned that decision and placed Peterson on the exempt list. This means he cannot take part in any team activities until further notice. Some feel this is essentially like a paid vacation for the player.
- The NFL hired four female executives this week as part of an initiative to advise commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff on better policies and procedures for handling domestic and sexual violence within the organization. While groups like UltraViolet have adopted a too-little-too-late attitude toward this development, others think it's a good start in handling a larger League-wide issue.
- Here's a look at how common domestic violence actually is within the League.
- Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's, Visa, and Campbell Soup Co. are among a growing number of sponsors who have voiced their concerns about the NFL's handling of domestic abuse incidents among players. Radisson hotels has pulled its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings, following the charges against Adrian Peterson.
- The Washington Post credits TMZ with bringing about broader change in the NFL, after the outlet secured and released video footage that shows Ray Rice knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator. The news organization also examines the way media coverage of domestic violence in the NFL has changed over the years.
- The NFL and NFLPA formed a new agreement regarding drug use in the League. It provided for the reinstatement of several key players who were previously suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, including Wes Welker.
- New data from the NFL suggests players have a 30% chance of developing Alzheimer's or Dementia.

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