By Ruth Conniff
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It was disgraceful and jarring to see how the NFL and some broadcasters tried to “move on” from the murder-suicide committed by Jovan Belcher on Saturday.
I know, the Kansas City Chiefs did have a moment of silence for victims of domestic violence before they went on and played the Carolina Panthers, but come on? Did they really need to play the game?
Cancelling it would have provided more than a moment of reflection on this gruesome crime, and the epidemic that it is simply one symptom of.
“Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends,” according to domesticviolencestatistics.org. “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.”
And it is rife within the NFL. “Of the 32 NFL teams, 21 of them have this year had at least one player who’s been charged at some point with domestic violence or sexual assault,” according to Justin Peters at slate.com.
So it was very disappointing, to say the least, to see the NFL carry on this weekend.
And other than Bob Costas, James Brown, and Boomer Esiason, the sportscasters I saw, or read about, were no better. They’d mention the Belcher story, appear solemn, and then go straight to reporting on whatever game was playing, without giving the viewer any sense of the dimensions of this national scourge.
This was not a rare incident. It was an altogether and sickeningly commonplace one. And that was the point that needed driving home this weekend – much more important than any of the points on the scoreboard.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Bernie Sanders Skewers Simpson, Bowles."
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