Domestic Violence in the NFL: Game Over Double Standards

Photo courtesy of Sydney Sims via Unsplash.com

Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Proverbs 31:8 NIV

Disclaimer: At the time of production, the accused have not been formally tried and convicted. The Curator will update as necessary. Nevertheless, we will use the word allegedly.


The Facts

Domestic violence is more that a relationship problem. It’s a society issue. If it’s happening in one household, it is one too many. A worldwide issue that crosses class, income brackets, religion, education, race, demographics, gender, sexual preference, and the like. An abuser or victim can fall into any of these categories.

What does domestic violence look like?

Psychological– involves a deliberate use of words as well as nonphysical actions used with the purpose to manipulate, hurt, weaken or frighten a person mentally and emotionally; distort, confuse a person’s thoughts, and gaslighting. (Via safelives.org.uk)

Examples: isolated from others, verbal attacks, threats, intimidation, harassment, stalking and more.

Financial– A power trip that exerts itself through dominance of income. This person isn’t always the breadwinner.

Examples: keeps the victim in debt, financially irresponsible [this can be intentional to make the victim helpless], inability to access of finances, extreme limitations, gaslighting, etc.

Emotional– An abuser controls, isolates and intimidates an individuals feelings.

Examples: demanding respect, shutting down communication, dehumanizing, inability to have a social circle, withhold affection, always working to have you look bad, disregard your feelings, etc.

Sexual-A heightened sense of intimacy where the victim is pressured to have sex or the abuser reacts negatively. Perpetrators who exhibit this type of behavior are highly narcissistic.

Examples: rape, aggressive behavior, forcing the victim to perform uncomfortable sexual acts,

Physical-Any intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person or animal by way of bodily contact. It leads to physical assaults and can escalate to murder and or suicide.

Lastly, abuse it’s not just one segment for someone that is involved in it. From a survivor of an abuser for nearly 5 years, I’ve encountered every last one of these types of abuse. The traumas of abuse can lead to depression, PTSD, issues with trust, low self-esteem, shame, guilt, anxiety, insomnia, promiscuous behavior, alcohol/drug addiction, other mental health issues, angry outbursts, easily startled, nightmares, bed wetting (in children), and clinginess among many. It is highly recommended to seek out trusted and certified therapists, psychologists, support groups, and life coaches to help navigate you out of surviving into thriving.

Abuse and the NFL

Abuse is merely a reflection of what is going on in society. It can be very ugly situations from off the field. From O.J. Simpson, Rae Carruth, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Ben Roethlisberger (I can only say allegedly because of statue of limitations and one case settled out of court), Kareem Hunt, and a very long list of names in the league.

From my research, it appears the bad boy behavior is more magnified amongst African-Americans. It’s not a huge surprise. Why? Let’s face it. Racism still exists. In the media. In Corporate America. In Hollywood. In your neighborhood. Professional athletes are not exempt.

The Case of Chad Wheeler

Like many abusers, it doesn’t just come about out of thin air. There’s always a history. Some of the history isn’t always reported. In December 2015, Wheeler had an (allegedly) manic episode when he was punching holes in the house and windows to cause the police to come out. It escalated so bad to the point where he resisted arrest. (For my highly melanated friends, we know all too well how this ends is would be a Black man/woman). He had to be subdued with bean bag rounds and later received a pscych evaluation. What a luxury.

I saw Alleah’s picture and it triggered me. In such a way that had me to be a voice instead of saying someone should say something. Why isn’t this on the news? Why is this being swept under the rug? Why is this no neck delusional pycho free on bail?

There’s this thing called white privilege. It’s a luxurious place where a red carpet is laid out with double standards, Burger King trips after a mass shooting of innocent God fearing members in a church, an endorsement deal after traveling to another state and killing someone only to get community service, not getting shot or tear gased while acting a fool at the Capitol, and so on and so forth. Feel free to comment of other examples of #whytprivilege below. P.S. I’m not a racist. Anyone that knows me know this. Save your blood pressure from getting high beloved.

Speak up and out against the ills of the world.

I’m not dismissing mental illness at all. It’s unfortunate that this keeps happening. Domestic violence is horrible. Not only does if affect the abused, but the family, friends, children, work environments, and society. This blogpost is lengthy because honestly I have a righteous indignation to bring light to a dark issue. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, I’m not going to tell you “just leave”, where is your support system, and “just get over it”. It’s something that may take years to overcome. Once you’re ready to leave, it will take an incredible amount of boldness.

From experience, your experience may be similar but no two stories will be the same. Allow yourself to go and grow through your process.

From the 911 call of the alleged victim, Alleah. Does this appear as attempted murder to you?

When the world takes accountability, that’s when things will change. Alleah called 911 and told the operator, “I’m being killed.”

He admittedly acknowledged his wrongdoings via Twitter. What was the response of the Seattle Seahawks? They are saddened.

In closing, I pray that Chad gets the justice that Alleah deserved.

To the NFL: you’re not ultimately responsible for what an employee of your organization does, but to see this and be “saddened” without retribution to the victim is disrespectful and appears that you’re encouraging bad boy behavior. HE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO REPRESENT ANOTHER ORGANIZATION ON ANY LEVEL. It appears you was more angry about Mike Vick and animal cruelty. Let’s not forget a peaceful kneeling of Colin Kaepernick.

To the Media: Shame on you. Shame on you for the Black cohosts on the Sports networks to take a stance on abuse because it doesn’t fit type depiction of Black athletes. Take a break from the doom and gloom, fear infused COVID-19 coverage to still bring relevant news to the forefront.

To the judgmental folks blaming the victim Alleah and others like her: Victim blaming isn’t the answer. It okay not to have knowledge of something you’re not willing to understand. Learn to have empathy. Or, better yet: say nothing at all.

To the abused: Life does get better after abuse. You must take the first step. It won’t be a fairy tale. Your life is worth fighting for. What’s your why? You’re worthy of living an amazing life that doesn’t feel like you’re a criminal on the run. It doesn’t feel good living life on eggshells. Create a strategic plan. Don’t look back.

Your Curator,
Tamieka Smith
hello@tamiekasmith.com

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