Petitioning NFL

Convicted domestic abusers aren’t heroes. Don’t let them play in the NFL.

I’ve been a football fan for years, proudly rooting for the Cleveland Browns through the good seasons and the bad ones. I’m also a social worker who works with children who have experienced domestic violence in their families. That’s why I was sickened to find out that NFL players and staff can be convicted of domestic violence in a court of law and keep their jobs. My young clients shouldn’t be told by the NFL that it’s ok for domestic abusers to hurt people, and still be professional sports heroes.

If the NFL really takes domestic violence seriously, why do they think it’s ok to wait until someone is criminally convicted of domestic violence twice before they finally get kicked out?

Many people, but especially our kids, look up to NFL players -- some even consider them heroes. The NFL even refers to its players as heroes on their own web site. And as a social worker who works with children who have experienced domestic violence in their families, I know how important inspiring role models can be. But to me, a real hero is a hero on and off the field.

Children who experience domestic violence need to know that how they or their abused parent have been treated is not okay. They need to see that domestic violence is unacceptable whether it’s someone’s parent hitting a child, or an NFL player hurting his wife or girlfriend.

Tell the NFL that if a court convicts a football player or staff member of domestic violence, that person shouldn’t get to keep being a hero every Sunday.

NFL commentator and Hall of Fame member Terry Bradshaw recently said, “Anybody, in my opinion, who lays a hand on a woman, I don't care who you are, my friend: you never come back in this league. … I really, really seriously hope, eventually, we never have a place in the NFL for people who ... strike a woman.”

I agree. The NFL should not be home to men convicted of domestic violence. But the NFL’s current policy sends a message to everyone who looks up to people in the NFL that domestic abusers still get to be heroes. This is wrong.

Sign my petition. Tell the NFL that if someone is convicted of domestic violence, they should be kicked out of the NFL.

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    Gretchen Tome started this petition with a single signature, and now has 73,176 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

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