My Thoughts on The NFL and Domestic Violence (Yes, I'm back again)
It seems we meet again. I remember in 2012, when I started a petition for the NFL to wear purple for domestic violence and everybody was in an uproar. While, there were many supporters, there were many against it as well. There were even some fellow advocates against it only because it said wear purple and not what they felt that it should say, so some of them created their own petitions, which I am not against because I believe the more the merrier, but really where has it gotten us? As advocates we are still so divided amongst a cause that is suppose to be promoting togetherness. Perhaps, if we stood strong together we would be making a bigger impact. These are just my thoughts. If you want to know my reasoning behind the petition you can visit this post here: Athletes and Domestic Violence: Why I started With The NFL First
I am troubled for a number of reasons, I am troubled with the NFL specifically because even though they have changed their policies, it still may not be good enough. I am troubled with the NFL because they believe that we are ignorant. The NFL believes that we are ignorant enough to believe that they never saw the recent tape which shows The former Baltimore Raven, Ray Rice, knocking out his now wife in the elevator. Really NFL? Really? Do you you really think that we are that ignorant, do you think that we really do not know the truth?
Quite frankly, I am tired of the commissioner and whoever else is involved that is just saying things for publicity or trying to get the fans or the naysayers off their back. Do something because it is right thing to do. Rodger Goodell, you say that you realized you drop the ball? I don't think you have realized, you just want us to SHUT UP and that is not going to happened. The NFL has failed to see how domestic violence is a very serious problem within their own organization and how getting their players help and raising awareness on a national level could help tremendously. The NFL is one of the BIGGEST organizations are out there and yes I get it, I get that the NFL can choose to support whichever cause that it pleases, but why not one that is destroying your own players lives?
Which brings me to my next point, does the NFL really care about its players or does it just care about the money? When you see some of your players making costly mistakes that could ruin not only their career, but their personal lives as well, when do you intervene? When do you step up and say hey we need to talk, find out whats going on in your life. No, I do not want to hear that this is not the NFL's responsibilities to do this, because it is. The NFL is different from a lot of other employers, the coaches and staff are with these players more than the players own families are with the players and this says a lot.
Now, I want to bring up something very important. I have a lot of thoughts and I am very hurt. This is such a touchy subject that many probably won't speak up, but I encourage you all too, even if you use my blog to do so. Now, we all now that the Ravens have let go of Ray Rice and that the NFL has suspended him indefinitely, but think about this(and it no way am I saying that he deserves to keep his job), but he has a wife at home, a wife that we know has experienced abuse at the hands of Ray Rice. How much more will this situation affect them at home, could it lead to more abuse? It's a huge responsibility. What kind of impact is this situation having on his wife? I'm bring it up because no one is talking about it. As a survivor of domestic violence and an advocate, I can probably imagine that his wife is feeling like everything is her fault, it's her fault that she got abused and everybody knows, it's now her fault that he has lost his job(of course that is what the public is saying right?)
If I am not mistaken, the NFL had her( Ray Rice's wife) apologizing more than they had Ray Rice apologizing, which is absolutely wrong. The NFL care more about Ray Rice and what he could do for them, than they cared about the well being of him and his family. I'm sick of it as well as many other things. I'm sick of hearing that she spit on him, she hit him, its her fault. While no man or woman should be putting their hands on anyone, we always have choices and he choose to knock her out to the point where she was unconscious and then he attempted to drag her out of an elevator, he didn't have a care in the world.
What about Ray Rice though? What about Him? Obviously, he learned this behavior from somewhere, who is going to sit down with him and offer to help him or just have a serious talk with him? It doesn't mean that he will change, but it doesn't mean that he won't either. Abuse is a learned behavior. A lot of times, how we can control our anger and ourselves period is learned whether we want to admit it or not. We know that Football(which I happened to love) is an aggressive sport, I happened to believe that football is therapeutic for a lot the players, but what happens when what you once loved or is therapeutic to you is no longer that way? What do you do then? You turn to other outlets and you lash out on others. I'm not making any excuses, i'm just stating the truth.
Women and Men, Ladies and Gentlemen, Domestic Violence, Domestic Abuse is NEVER OK. We have to stop making it OK, love is not abusing each other mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, or spiritually. When two people love one another, they bring out the best in each other and they try their best to live each other up. If you are with someone who is constantly bring out the worst in you, all you all do is fight, ya'll can barely stand to be around each other, then that is not the relationship for you. We all have choices. The sad thing about domestic violence is even in 2014 many people do not know what it is or do not understand it so they judge. We have to empower those that are experiencing abuse and pray for them so they can gain the strength to walk away. Some people NEVER make it out of an abusive relationship. When you decide to make comments think about if it was you and if you have never been in the situation even thinking about if it was you is not going to help. I pray that those who have never been in the situation will never be in it. This is serious, very serious.
To MY fellow advocates, survivors, and future survivors
The only true way that we can stop this epidemic is if we truly come together on a bigger level, work with each other(not against each other), and support one another. Some of you may know that I am working on a project for survivors and advocates and in return it will help the victims( I really don't like that word). I am asking you all to join together with me and whatever you need me to join together in with you, I will if I am able too. Please email me at email@example.com Let's take a stand together.
Nicole C. Lofton