Violence is a trait of many NFL players. Let's face it, football is a violent sport and it encourages violent behavior. Unfortunately, what football does not do is teach players how to behave non-violently to problems off the field, particularly when it comes to relationship problems.
This violent behavior begins when boys start playing football as children. The boys are taught to be tough and aggressive by their coaches, teams, and even their parents. Boys are taught to use their body and strength to tackle competitive players. Making a good "hit" is encouraged. This positively reinforces boys to strive aggressively. The boys are taught to be strong, to be unafraid, and to be a man. The name of the game is to be tough, dominant and show no weaknesses.
Unfortunately, the boys playing football are not taught that this behavior is acceptable only on the field. As boys who play football reach awareness and adulthood, they have learned how to use aggressive and dominant behavior to win. It is this behavior that can lead to domestic violence against women.
Football never teachers players how to communicate with a woman. Is this the fault of football coaches or should parents take responsibility? The correct answer is that both should take responsibility. If you are going to reward a child for behaving violently while playing football, you must teach that child how to control their behavior when not playing football. I believe that from childhood all the way through the NFL, football players must be taught how to control aggressive and violent behavior. They need to be taught that violence off the field is unacceptable, especially toward women.
The divorce rate amongst NFL players is very high. Players bring the violence and aggressive energy they have on the field home. After practice or a game, a player's adrenaline is flowing and they may have a lot of extra energy. If the player was in a big game that his team lost, this can increase the likelihood of violence at home. When you take the environment of football where problems between players are sometimes solved in scuffles and pushing each other around, this behavior becomes second nature to players. In football, if somebody gets in your face, you push them away. However, there is a huge difference between pushing a strong 275 lb player out of your face and pushing a 130 lb woman out of your face. What feels like nothing among players can be deadly when used towards a woman, and much of the time, it is done as a reflex from years of being physical with other players. That is why it is so important that from childhood on, football players are taught how to control their behavior off the field.
The NFL does have programs to teach players how to make off the field. The problem is that by the time a player reaches the NFL, it is almost too late to teach behavior control. By this time the player has spent more than half of his life being taught to be physical and aggressive. This behavior is now so deeply embedded in the player's mind that it is very difficult to change. That is why it is so important that football coaches and parents teach these young boys how to leave off the field and to be gentle with women.
If you are a parent reading this article, please talk to your son about violence and that violent behavior towards other people, especially women, is wrong. Yes, physical and aggressive behavior is OK on the football field with other players, but that is the only place it is acceptable. Off the field, players must be taught to control their aggressive behavior and use their mind to solve problems, not their body.