Here’s How You Normalize Domestic Violence: Call Domestic Violence Someone’s “Personal Life”
It’s skillful the way the NFL repeatedly masks violence against women as normal, as “personal,” not something to interfere with the great “professional” god of football. Remember Ray Rice? Remember the punch that cost him millions? Greg Hardy was another NFL player that was supposedly innocent, until news media were alerted to the abuse he committed and then the NFL took action. The NFL is up to its old tricks again, supposedly investigating a player, this time NY Giants Josh Brown, finding him guilty of just a token offense, giving him a one game suspension, and then when media reports come up (Sports Net NY), the NFL allegedly investigates more.
First of all, the terms NFL and investigate are oxymorons. There is no such thing as an NFL investigation, only NFL expose. When the NFL is slammed in the media, it acts, slowly, belligerently, and in a circular fashion. The problem is, outside of the fact that the NFL employs abusive men, is that the NFL also acts as though domestic violence is normal, or distances the “professional” act of playing football from the “personal life” of abusing women. And that, my dears, is the way that domestic violence becomes accepted, normative, and excused, as a personal faux pas instead of the criminal act it is. If the NFL doesn’t call domestic violence a crime, then does it really exist?
So when a player says he is “against domestic violence,” but then says he stays out of domestic violence as someone’s “personal life,” doesn’t that really mean that the domestic violence is a personal problem rather than a crime? Could players really be on record supporting drug dealing as a “personal problem” with the NFL support? What about arms dealing? Probably not, but reclassify a crime as personal problem and suddenly domestic violence is nothing more than a personal disagreement with a spouse rather than criminal activity.
In one of Brown’s journal entries obtained as part of the investigation, he writes: “I have abused my wife.”
The Giants were unaware of Brown’s journal entries, emails and letters admitting domestic violence, according to a team spokesman. They had not read or heard about them before their release on Wednesday.
An NFL Players Association source told ESPN’s Jane McManus on Thursday that the union was not aware of Brown’s journals that admitted abuse before they were revealed to the media.
His ex-wife revealed the journals that described the abuse, but it’s sad that it took that extreme to make people believe that she was abused, and even then, only because “he said so.”