Former NFL defensive lineman Warren Sapp has once again made the news for all the wrong reasons. Sapp had been named as a suspect in a domestic violence case fresh on the heels of his arrest on solicitation and assault.
Sapp may be retired from the NFL, but his recent troubles still add to the sullied image of today’s NFL. Sapp is not the only athlete in trouble. Junior Galette of the New Orleans Saints is under fire for a video recently unearthed of what appears to be the linebacker twice striking a woman with a belt. Galette was also arrested in January for simple battery involving domestic violence. The charges were eventually dropped in the January case as it was unclear whether the victim was actually a member of the household.
Ray Rice, and the subsequent troubles with Adrian Peterson, Ray McDonald, Greg Hardy, and others have left the league with a tarnished image.
The NFL has in response donated large sums of money to organizations serving victims of domestic violence, even hiring consultants to aid in steering the NFL towards better handling of these situations.
The jury is still out on whether recent initiatives enacted by the league will have an impact on a league known for leniency towards its players or if it’s just public relations fodder.
Public trust in the way the NFL handles these issues is at an all-time low and the Ray Rice case highlighted the need for transparency within a league whose track record is less than stellar.