A Tradition Like No Other: NFL Jackasses Getting Arrested for Domestic Violence
Ok, NFL, you are seriously ridiculous.
Perhaps it's unfair of me to address the league as one collective entity, because honestly, most of the guys in the league, all of the ones I've associated closely with, are seemingly good people. They do things for charities, they're kind to other adults and to children, they look you in the eye when they address you.
However, the commissioner of the NFL is a goddamn clown (the Michael Scott to the NFL's Dunder Mifflin), a vast contingency of the owners and coaches are wishy-washy, flippy-floppy billionaire empty suits, and yes, I'm sorry, players, but this small little cadre of wife and child beaters are ruining the bunch for me right now.
Yesterday, I joked that maybe we would make it through one radio show (NOTE: I do four hours from 2 to 6 p.m. every day on Sports Radio 610.) without a domestic violence incident involving an NFL player being reported.
Well, I was partially right. There wasn't a single one.
There were actually two.
Yes, in a four hour period on Thursday, we had two reports of domestic violence involving NFL players, albeit two very different stories in terms of the profile of the player and the timing of the alleged incidents.
We start with Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who according to celebrity attorney Gloria Allred was the aggressor in multiple domestic violence incidents with his former girlfriend Rasheedah Watley prior to being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2006. According to Allred, the Broncos knew about the incidents before selecting Marshall with a fourth round pick that year, and more importantly, commissioner Roger Goodell was allegedly made aware by Watley's father of the allegations against Marshall, but failed to act upon the information.
Given how everything has unraveled in league discipline over the last three weeks, this is not a difficult allegation to believe.
Watley's friend, Kristeena Spivey recounted what occurred back in 2006:
"She told me she was hiding in the bushes from Brandon, who had allegedly punched her in the face," said Kristeena Spivey, Rasheedah Watley's friend.
Spivey admits she wasn't there at the time, but she immediately sent her friend a plane ticket and picked her up at the airport.
"She had blood in her severely swollen lips. Her hair was disheveled, there were tears running down her face," said Spivey.
Allred is saying that she is not suing anybody, not seeking to press charges, but merely wants to initiate dialogue on a better investigative process by the NFL into domestic violence incidents.
Marshall has faced the following accusations in the past: In 2009, he was accused of disorderly conduct, but those charges were dropped. In 2008, he was accused of hitting his girlfriend, and was suspended for one game. In 2007, he was charged with drunk driving, and pleaded guilty to reduced charges. That same year, he was charged with false imprisonment and sentenced to a diversion program.
Brandon Marshall has had a busy career with trouble off the field, and has seemingly cleaned up his act, but the charges by Allred are certainly disturbing, given the heightened awareness of domestic violence league wide the last two weeks.
Ok, that was incident number one.
Number two was a far lower profile player, but a far more current transgression. Arizona running back Jonathan Dwyer has been arrested on allegations of two incidents of aggravated assault that occurred over the summer. The Cardinals have done what has now become a league standard for most teams (not you, San Francisco...what's up, Ray McDonald?), and deactivated Dwyer from all team activities.
Here are the details on Dwyer:
The counts stem from two incidents involving a 27-year-old woman and an 18-month-old child at Dwyer's home in southeast Phoenix on July 21 at 8 a.m. and July 22 at 4 p.m., according to the Phoenix Police Department.
Dwyer, 25, was booked into Maricopa County Jail on Wednesday on one count of aggravated assault causing a fracture, one count of aggravated assault involving a minor, two counts of criminal damage, one count of preventing the use of a phone in an emergency, and assault.
He was freed on a $25,000 cash bond early Thursday and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device. He also cannot have contact with the alleged victims, cannot travel outside of Arizona and cannot have involvement with weapons, drugs or alcohol.
Dwyer admitted to the incidents during interviews with detectives but denied physically assaulting the female and child. According to police, a search warrant was being executed at his home.
Authorities depicted a stormy relationship between Dwyer and the woman that escalated into violence on July 21, four days before the Cardinals reported to training camp.
Neighbors heard a fight and called police, who showed up at the residence but left without making an arrest because Dwyer hid in the bathroom and the woman said no one else was at the home, Sgt. Trent Crump said.
"She said she was in an argument on the phone only," Crump said.
The next day, Crump said, Dwyer snatched the woman's cellphone and threw it from the second floor of their residence to prevent her from calling police about another dispute.
Crump confirmed there was an allegation that Dwyer threw a shoe at or toward his son. Crump said he couldn't elaborate on it.
Of course, it seems odd that this would happen to Dwyer, given his previous stance on "domestic violets":
— Lana Berry (@Lana) September 18, 2014
As of Wednesday evening, Cardinals starter Andre Ellington had missed practice, leaving just two healthy running backs active on the Arizona 53 man roster -- Stepfan Taylor and Robert Hughes.
The only available back on the practice squad?
Chris Rainey, who was waived by the Steelers in 2013 after being accused of slapping his girlfriend. Rainey also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stalking charge while in college at Florida, according to reports.
Cue the Dunder Mifflin music....