With three players under fire for domestic abuse issues within the last week — not to mention two revised punishments, many mea culpas, and, oh yeah, Ray Rice — it's safe to say the NFL has a domestic violence problem. The problem is so big that in the midst of a maybe-war in the Middle East and other crises around the world, the White House still found time to chastise America's most popular sports league in light of its off-the-field turmoil.
In a statement made by a senior administration official Thursday, the White House told the NFL to "get a handle" on its violent players, urging the league to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy on domestic abuse issues. The official continued:
The NFL has an obligation not only to their fans but to the American people to properly discipline anyone involved in domestic violence or child abuse and more broadly, gain control of the situation. [...] Many of these professional athletes are marketed as role models to young people and so their behavior does have the potential to influence these young people, and [that's] one of the many reasons it's important that the league get a handle on this and have a zero tolerance. [CBS News]
This isn't the first time the Obama administration has weighed in on the NFL's violence issues. After the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice two weeks ago, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest released a statement on behalf of President Obama, stating: "The president is the father of two daughters. And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society."