The NFL is in hot water after dishing out a paltry two game suspension to Ravens RB Ray Rice for knocking out his girlfriend, now wife, during a fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Considering that the penalty for the first infraction of a substance abuse violation brings about a 4 week NFL suspension, the act of battery against a female should be exponentially greater. The punishment is not in line for what occurred.
Because football is, dare I say it, a “violent” game, the act of committing an abusive act toward a woman further highlights the game’s brutality, providing more fuel to the sport’s naysayers fire.
Commissioner Goodell must understand there are 3 million youth football athletes idolizing players in the NFL. A slap on the wrist in an instance such as an assault against a woman sends the wrong message.
Coaches need to drill home the virtue of respect and regard for all. Respect for teammates, opponents, referees and self should be displayed at all times.
To drill home respect, keep these points in mind while on and (off) the football field:
- Respect players, avoid favoritism! You give it, you get it. Reward those kids that work hard at practice with playing time. Remember kids look up to your coaching staff. If a coach were to make a derogatory comment toward a female, it is certain his athletes will think it is ok to do the same.
- Respect for opponents means not running up the score. When you build a comfortable lead, put your minimum play players in.
- If you have something to say to a referee due to a bad call, do it in 10 words or less. And let it be away from the kids.
- Keep parents on your side. Inform a parent on what is needed to help their kid get better. Communicate with respect.
- Display acts of honor, consideration and kindness to your kids in the community. Teach them the value of charitable contribution.
Women are often involved in the game of football- Team Moms, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters- it goes without question that respect is priority. It is hopeful that Mr. Rice gets proper counseling during his two weeks off.