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Sports league's leaders miss domestic violence hearing

Domestic violence occurs across every social stratum, with the rich and the famous as likely to be affected by domestic violence as anyone else.

According to one report, recent bid to tackle this issue, undertaken by Senate Commerce Committee members, was to focus on instances involving professional sports players through a Congressional hearing. However, none of the commissioners of the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the National Football League attended the hearing, sparking criticism of their apparent "lack of commitment" on the subject which has affected their players.

The hearing follows in the wake of recent incidents, such as the NFL player whose physical assault of his wife, who was not married to him at the time of attack, was captured on video and later made public. The football plyer had initially been handed a two-game suspension, but subsequent to the video's release he was suspended indefinitely. However, the latter penalty was overturned by an appeal to an arbitrator. Another player accused of hitting his son was given a season-long suspension, which is now being appealed.

The sports leagues had been quizzed on their investigations of such incidents by their members and whether law enforcement officials were contacted upon discovering condemnable player actions. In the view of one senator, the present scenario is "not acceptable," and more accountability was needed. Another senator voiced the concern that these leagues were not prioritizing the problem and were more concerned about players continuing to play than doing what is right.

Source: ABC News, "Senators Press NFL, Others on Domestic Violence," Howard Fendrich, Dec. 2, 2014

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