Athletes and Domestic Abuse

Essay by Gameboy4High School, 12th gradeA-, November 1996

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Athletes and Domestic Violence

A lady calls 911 and cries that her husband is beating her. She wants to file a report, but then asks the dispatcher if it is going to be in the paper the next day. When the dispatcher doesn't reply, she changes her mind about the report and hangs up (Cart). The lady was Sun Bonds, wife of all-star San Francisco Giant, Barry Bonds. Like the wives of other famous players, she was a victim of spousal abuse. Athletes are praised as heroes for what they do on the playing field, but what they do off the field is never mentioned. As a disappointed sports fan, I want to draw attention to the domestic violence cases that involve athletes.

Athletes have been abusing their spouses since sports were created, but not until the OJ Simpson trial has domestic violence become 'the issue du jour.' When Simpson was arrested on New Years Day for beating his wife, none of the newspapers reported it.

When he pleaded no contest five months later, there was a small brief in the second page of The Los Angeles Times' Metro Section (Cart). In the last three years alone the list of the accused included Dante Bichette, Barry Bonds, John Daly, Scottie Pippen, Jose Conseco, Bobby Cox, Mike Tyson, Warren Moon, Michael Cooper, Darryl Strawberry, Duane Causwell, Olden Polynice, Robert Parish, and OJ Simpson( Callahan, Sports Ilustrated). And these are only the pro athletes whose wives had the courage to report the violence.

Madeline Popa, president of Nebraska National Organization for Women stated, 'Athletes are role models to small children. [Viewers] worry about the violence on television, but generally that is make-believe. When [there are] real-life heroes [engaging in violence], the message to young boys and girls is, 'If you are...