The crisis in the NFL over domestic violence is a crisis of the violent culture of that world and the mad profit driven competition within it. There should be no professional sport. All sport should be amateur. There should be no subsidization of huge stadiums by tax payers. Build homes instead. There should be no exploitation of sporting events to whip up support for the aims and objectives of the US corporations such as going to war and occupations of foreign lands.
The news is dominated these days by the horrific violence amongst NFL players. This is the most nauseating of hypocrisy by the owners and regulators of the NFL. And also by all the talking heads in the media, including the so called liberal ones, who when as they condemn domestic violence they always make sure to say how much they just love football. This is like saying that they are very sorry for the pain caused when they shoot the hunted animal but how much they love hunting. What hypocrites. You cannot have professional sports, which are driven by profit, and based on violence, without this violence being expressed not only on the field but also off the field. It is not possible. You cannot switch the violence which is indoctrinated into the NFL players on and off at will.
It is like thinking that young people can be sent to fight in wars abroad, to kill and see their friends be killed and come home sane and normal people. These wars demand killers, the US military machine creates killers. When they come home this is what they have been trained to be but there is no place for them to be what they have been trained to be at home in society. That is why so many of these former and present soldiers kill themselves. They have been trained for use in war and when they come home there is no war for them. At the same time even when they are at war they are so brutalized by what they are asked to do that they kill themselves in large numbers also. It is like the NFL players they are trained to be violent on the field and then expected not to be violent off the field.
NFL players and members of the military are turned into violent people in the interests of profits and war. A journalist went to see the mother of a soldier who had been sent to war and came back brutalized and committing crimes at home, She explained about what had happened and explained the experience of herself and her so in a brilliant accurate phrase. "I gave them (the military) a good boy and they gave me back a murderer."That about sums it up.
In considering this issue of domestic violence and violence in general we have to see that it is a question of the needs of capitalist society. The owners of the NFL need big violent players to keep the profits rolling in. But there is another group of people they need to keep the profits rolling in. That is the cops. The big corporations need the cops to protect their property, profits and power. So just like the NFL players they indoctrinate the cops also into a culture of violence. Even worse they equip them with the weapons of violence. Guns, batons, pepper spray, large armored vehicles. Inevitably domestic violence is therefore higher amongst the cops than other sections of society.
In two studies, one by the National Center for women and policing, these showed that 40% of police families experienced domestic violence. This was compared to 10% of the US population as a whole. This a staggering difference. Another study showed that domestic violence was 2 to 4 times more common amongst cops families and relationships than amongst US families in general. The Los Angeles Magazine covered a story about a whistle blower who was sent to jail for exposing the domestic violence in the Los Angeles police department.
He said: "Kids were being beaten. Women were beaten and raped. Their organs were being ruptured. Bones were being broken. It was hard cold fisted brutality by police officers and nothing was being done to protect their families. And I couldn't stand by and do nothing." MS Magazine later reported that at that time of LA cops accused of domestic violence 29% were later promoted and 30% were repeat offenders.
Domestic violence is the dirty inevitable product of capitalist society which is based on violence and in particular the special oppression of violence against women. Ending the violence against women and ending violence in general will need the ending of capitalism and its mad addiction to profit at any price. You cannot have capitalism without domestic violence.
- AFSCME Local 444 negotiations assesment 1997
- Preparing for Revolution: A discussion document
- The Internal lives of Revolutionary Organizations
- Socialist Alternative members: Questions and Answers
- Sanders: Our Alternative
- University of California workers and Unions
- An Invitation to Our Readers
- Facts For Working People Weekly Phone Conferences and Discussions
- Help open The AFL-CIO AIFLD Archives