Turmoil in America’s Game

Criminal charges smear NFL


(Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT - with permission)

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) )

Nick Freberg, Staff Writer

As football season comes upon us once again, a series of criminal charges have been made against several players in the National Football League. The league is no stranger to having its players facing criminal charges. For example, the case of former Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez, who is currently on trial without bail for the murder of Odin Lloyd. More recently, in the early part of the 2013 season, Ritchie Incognito, who was at the time a member of the Miami Dolphins, was charged with hazing one of his teammates. Now a few players headlined by Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson are facing charges of domestic violence and child abuse respectively.

The recent domestic violence issues in the NFL have raised many questions

— Nick Freberg

Rice is being charged with domestic violence towards his then fiancée now wife at a hotel in New Jersey. Rice, a Super Bowl Champion and multiple Pro Bowl selections on his resume, had allegedly committed this abuse long before any news was relayed by the media to the public. He has hence been cut from the Ravens’ roster and is currently serving a suspension for said charges after a video showing Rice knocking his fiancée unconscious in an elevator was given to the NFL by the media. However, ESPN reports that according to Commissioner Roger Goodell, the League offices never asked to see the footage, but was showed it anyways.

Peterson, the NFL’S MVP in 2012 is facing charges on child abuse. He allegedly beat his four-year-old son with a tree branch according to the New York Daily News. This news came in the wake of a tragedy for Peterson and his family when another young son (two-years-old) died after allegedly being abused by the mother’s boyfriend. Since the allegations, Adrian Peterson has been told to stay away from the team and anything associated with the Minnesota Vikings. A tentative trial date has been set for December 1, according to ESPN. Without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings’ running game will not be nearly as great as it was with him.

The recent domestic violence issues in the NFL have raised many questions for and about the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell. Many believe that the Raven’s executives and the commissioner attempted to cover up the scandal, though this is not confirmed. The commissioner’s tenure has been smeared by scandal and many commentators think that he may be removed from his position for not taking immediate action to address the incident.