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EXAMINING SPOUSAL ABUSE AMONG FOOTBALL PLAYERS
Published November 15, 1994
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).