Von Miller

Becker: NFL needs to take a stronger stand against domestic violence, abuse

This week both the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars continue to make a push for the NFL playoffs. 

Both teams the last few weeks though have had off the field distractions involving players. Both Jaguars WT Zay Jones and Buffalo Bills pass rusher Von Miller have been arrested for domestic violence incidents. 

Both players are suiting up for their respective teams despite the arrests and raises a bigger question that the NFL has yet to address.

In November, Jones was arrested due to getting into a custody argument with the mother of his child and left fingernail scratches on her neck, according to a police report that was released.

He made bail and has suited up for Jacksonville in the 3 games following the arrest. 

Miller, 34, was arrested in Dallas last week after his pregnant girlfriend accused him of assaulting her. In an arrest warrant affidavit, the victim accused Miller of choking, pushing and grabbing her. 

Miller faces a charge of third-degree felony assault of a pregnant woman, which is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is free after posting a $5,000 bond.

Miller has been cleared to play for the Bills against the Chiefs and beyond. “We weren’t there. We’re not the investigators,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said. “We don’t, obviously, you know, we had our conversations with Von and understood what he believes happened and so, from that standpoint we can’t get into it. It’s an open investigation, and so we’ll just, we’ll let the legal process play out, and he’ll participate like normal in practice.”

The technical words Beane used describe a bigger problem for all of NFL teams and the league itself. 

If a team choose to take a stance and release a player the moment they are arrested then it might be a step in the right direction. That player has every right to prove their innocence in the court of law but the question is whether they have the right to continue to make millions why that process is drawn out by both their lawyers and the league. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the league continues to sweep violence against women under the rug.

Accusations of misogyny have been made against prominent NFL names, and at times, the league itself, for years. Many NFL Cheerleaders have sued the league for unfair treatment. 

And despite Jon Gruden resigning as head coach of Las Vegas in 2021, due to in part misogynistic emails, many believed it was systematic of a larger problem in the league. Gruden mocked the NFL’s hiring of female referees and has had an ardent defender in Saints Quarterback Derek Carr. “I love that man and what he’s meant to me in my career — I played my best football with him. And I admire him,” said Carr during this past offseason. 

In fairness to the Bills and Jaguars, it seems every team continues to encounter these kind of domestic violence and misogynistic issues. And until a team does the right and releases a player regardless of their on-field contributions, I believe it will not change.