The League

Dawn Knight

Dawn Knight

The author of Taliaferro: Breaking Barriers and a high school English teacher.

No Place for Wimps


Wimps. That's the best I can do in a forum like this one, because I can't say what I'd actually like to call men who abuse women, especially large, muscled, 6'4" 250-pound men who abuse women. (Pick on someone your own size, jeez!) Apparently, the NFL has not been without its share of wimps, as there have been many NFL players accused of domestic violence. Some have faced jail time and NFL sanctions; others, neither.

In 2004, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michel Pittman was suspended for three games after he drove his Humvee into a car his wife was driving (their child was in the car with her - wimp isn't strong enough). This September, Broncos Tight End Richard Quinn was arrested on harassment and domestic violence charges. Quinn denies any wrongdoing and has not been suspended from any games. Shawn Merriman was arrested this year for an alleged assault against MTV personality Tila Tequila, but there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.

In 2005, former Indianapolis Colts defensive back Nick Harper was arrested on a domestic abuse charge. He allegedly hit his wife in the face. (Whether his wife was retaliating against abuse or is abusive herself I do not know, but I still blame the abusive relationship for the Colts 2006 playoff loss to Pittsburgh. Had Harper not been stabbed in the leg by his wife days before the game, I doubt Roethlisberger would have been able to catch up to tackle him. (The Colts would have won the game and would have gone on to win the Super Bowl - seriously).

The most recent incident of domestic abuse involves Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable. Cable admitted to hitting his former wife more than twenty years ago. That makes him a wimp and a jerk, but that was too long ago for the NFL to impose sanctions. This year, Cable allegedly struck his girlfriend, Marie Lutz, and assistant coach Randy Hanson. There is no solid evidence to prove either incident. That's not to say I don't believe it. However, I do believe one is innocent until proven guilty (which is probably why I've ended up on a jury twice in two jury selections).

Cable's alleged abuse does highlight a disturbing trend in the NFL, the numerous alleged incidents of domestic violence by NFL players. Rookies already take part in a three-day symposium to help them adjust to life in the NFL, including sessions on making choices and determining the consequences of their actions. Whether domestic abuse is specifically mentioned, I'm not sure, but perhaps it should be. Perhaps this kind of symposium should also be extended beyond rookie players to experienced players and coaches. Maybe providing intervention for players who are accused of domestic violence is a good idea as well. I'm all for guys in shoulder pads beating up on each other, but they should leave it all on the field - the NFL is no place for wimps.

By Dawn Knight  |  November 2, 2009; 6:52 AM ET  | Category:  Oakland Raiders , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I couldn't agree with you more. You mention 250-pound guys should pick on people their own size. But, Tom Cable weighs a whole lot more than any 250 pounds. He's huge, bigger than a lot of his Oakland Raiders players. Have you noticed that he doesn't throw punches at any of the big guys. He likes to hit little people. He fractured the jaw of his asst coach, Randy Hanson, who is small in physical stature and now we learn he's hit his ex-wives and ex-girl friend.

Ethic Soup blog has a good series of posts on Cable and asks where are the good guys in the NFL. True there are a lot of abusers, but not everyone is like Tom Cable off-the-field. Why don't they speak up and say they think such violent behavior is wrong? They are wimps fro staying silent. Another good post is at:

Posted by: s_mceachern | November 2, 2009 12:01 PM

If I came to my senses at some point and realized I was married to or in a relationship with Tom Cable, I'd probably do worse stuff to myself than what he did to his women or workers. He is a full-blown barking idiot. The Raiders deserve him.

Posted by: steveboyington | November 3, 2009 5:32 AM

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