SBD/15/Law Politics

EXAMINING SPOUSAL ABUSE AMONG FOOTBALL PLAYERS

     According to an investigation by the WASHINGTON POST, 141
men -- 56 current and former professional football and 85 college
football athletes -- have been reported to police for violent
behavior toward women since January 1, 1989, when O.J. Simpson
reportedly beat his wife during a pre-dawn argument.  The 3-month
review also found allegations by victims and prosecutors that
football players were given "preferential treatment."  Of the 141
men accused, 48 of them were convicted, and 18 of those men were
incarcerated.
Within weeks after O.J. Simpson was charged with murdering his
ex-wife, the NFL sent counselors to its 28 team training camps to
talk to players for the first time about domestic violence.  But
Lem Burnham, who heads the NFL's employee assistance program,
said the lectures were not prompted by the Simpson case.  NFL Dir
of Communications Greg Aiello: "We're not in the criminal justice
system.  We can't cure every ill in society.  You know, we're
putting on football games.  And unless it impacts on the
business, we have to be very careful [from a legal standpoint]
about disciplinary action we take" (Bill Brubaker, WASHINGTON
POST, 11/13).
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