Football cheers on domestic violence

American Football enthusiasts should be embarrassed.

This past week, Dallas Cowboys All-Pro defensive lineman Greg Hardy, returned to the field after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s domestic violence policy. The towering, 270 plus pound lineman, allegedly threatened the life of a woman (his former girlfriend) by strangling and throwing her onto a pile of automatic assault weapons.

Upon his return to the field, Hardy showed no remorse for his actions.

In his return game against the New England Patriots, Hardy recorded five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

The All-Pro lineman was praised for his performance.

According to an article published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics titled, “Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior,” upset losses in American Football — defeats when the home team was predicted to win by four or more points — lead to a 10 percent increase in the rate of at-home violence by men against their wives and girlfriends.

Additionally, according to the website, domestic violence accounts for 48 percent of arrests for violent crimes among NFL players compared to an estimated 21 percent nationally.

But perhaps more startlingly, as viewers and as fans we are complicit in the violent game. We praise a hard hit, applaud “toughness” and admire the ability to “fight” through injury.

We don’t see, as fans, viewers and admirers, the enabling of domestic violence. American Football facilitates violent behavior; players habituate the act of hitting someone on the field, at home.

Until as viewers we recognize the facilitation of domestic violence in American Football, we should be ashamed of ourselves.