Signing of Reuben Foster proves how little NFL teams care about domestic violence

Gabriel Keller, Staff Writer

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The San Francisco 49ers released linebacker Reuben Foster following a domestic violence arrest. Two days later, Foster was signed by the Washington Redskins. In the same professional sports league that hasn’t given Colin Kaepernick, a player with no criminal offenses, a job in over 19 months due to his protests against police brutality toward black Americans, a domestic abuser fails to go two days without being claimed. This is just a small story in the long history of the NFL’s struggles with handling domestic violence.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, at around 9 p.m., police responded to a report at a Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa, Florida. Foster had entered a fight with a woman with whom he has had an on-again, off-again relationship. Foster was arrested for first-degree domestic violence after police found a large scratch on the woman’s collarbone. The woman reported that Foster “slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the right side of her face.” Hours later, the 49ers sent out a one-sentence statement saying that Foster was released.

This is not Foster’s first encounter with domestic violence. In May of this year, charges against Foster made by an ex-girlfriend were dismissed after she dropped them. However, she was found bruised with a ruptured eardrum after the alleged encounter. He was also suspended by the NFL for the first two games of this season after a weapons and drugs offense. Foster is on the commissioner’s exempt list and will not play for the rest of this season.

In this modern NFL, it took Josh Gordon four years to re-enter the league after smoking marijuana, but a multiple-offense domestic abuser can re-enter the league after four games and be signed in two days.

Going to a school like Masters where students are held to such a high standard, academically and morally, to continue studying here, it is almost offensive to see how much a professional athlete can get away with. The NFL needs to change if it wants to continue to have viewers view their players as role models.