Domestic violence incidents by NFL players spark online discussions

Lyanne Melendez Image
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
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Thousands have taken to social media to talk about the issue of domestic abuse after two NFL players were linked to domestic violence incidents.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- The fallout over the Ray Rice video continues as thousands have taken to social media to talk about the issue of domestic violence. It's also, once again, drawing attention to the incident involving 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald and the team's decision to allow him to play.

Many people who have seen the Ray Rice video showing him punching his then fiancee are venting.

"No one wants to be associated with him," Michael Strahan, a former National Football League player, said. "I wouldn't want him on my team. I wouldn't want him around in any capacity."

Groups against domestic violence have never seen so many postings or tweets about the issue on social media sites. There's even a few hashtags on Twitter: #whyistayed I thought I could change him, #whyileft he was the one changing me.

49ers owner Jed York was quick to point out the case against Rice is different from that of 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald.

"I think every instance is very different and it needs to be looked at differently," Jed York said. "Everybody deserves the right to due process and that's what we stood by."

Despite his arrest for domestic violence, the 49ers allowed McDonald to play last Sunday.

"Benching a player who is accused of a crime should be standard operating procedure," Hunter Elkins, a spokesman for Next Door, Solutions for Domestic Violence. "It's what would happen if a police officer were involved in an altercation, if an executive in a company. They would be put on paid administrative leave."

Groups working with battered women say the NFL should take a tougher stance against domestic violence.

"It took a video. It should not take a video," said Kathleen Krenek, for Next Door, Solutions for Domestic Violence. "Ninety-nine percent can't show videos of what happened to them. Does that mean it didn't occur?"

In McDonald's case the district attorney has yet to file charges against him.

Meanwhile the NFL is taking a defensive stance Tuesday night in the Ray Rice domestic violence case. Following the release of video that shows Rice hitting his then fiance.

TMZ obtained the video. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tells CBS "We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator... We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video. We asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity."

Rice has faced an additional backlash from companies that endorse him.

Nike announced it has ended its endorsement deal with him. The video game company Electronic Arts says it will remove Rice from the Madden football game.

Both Rice and his wife spoke out Tuesday.

In an interview with ESPN, Rice said, "I have to be strong for my wife. She is so strong. We are in good spirits. We have a lot of people praying for us and we'll continue to support each other. I have to be there for (Janay) and my family right now and work through this."

Janay Rice posted on Instagram: "To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing."