NFL Double Standard on Domestic Violence

NFL Double Standard on Domestic Violence

On Monday, two days after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend and then committed suicide, I wrote about domestic violence and the NFL. In that post, I looked at a San Diego Union-Tribune database of NFL arrest records and searched for incidents domestic violence or sexual assault. I found that 21 of 32 NFL teams, at one point this year, had employed a player with a domestic violence or sexual assault charge on his record.

That’s a pretty striking factoid, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything statistically. I estimated that about 2 percent of rostered NFL players in 2012 have been charged with an intimate violence crime. (This estimate assumes the standard 53-man roster.) How do NFL players stack up to the public at large?

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