Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: The NFL has an Opportunity to Push Back Against Domestic Violence
5pm UPDATE: Here is the letter.
NOTE: Last week, Governor Paul LePage went onto WVOM’s George Hale and Ric Tyler Show and during his interview, said that he was “boycotting the NFL”. He also referred himself in the third person when discussing his chances for re-election:
- “The governor does not agree [that it’s a tight race]. … The governor says that he’s either going to be blown out by a landslide or he’s going to win by a landslide. … The Maine people are either going to throw me out or take me in wholeheartedly, but I don’t think this is going to be close.”
He has still not spoken publicly about his meeting with Democratic leadership, despite new reports that the situation with Augusta’s Riverview Psychiatric Center is more dire and will be even more expensive than thought even last week.
This week, he chose to use his weekly address to double down on his condemnation of the NFL. A reminder: The only professional football team in all of New England is still located in Massachusetts, not Maine.
No word from RGA Chair Chris Christie (the New Jersey governor who favors the Dallas Cowboys over his own local teams) who was in Maine supporting LePage on Tuesday, on his views of the LePage “NFL boycott”.
The NFL has an Opportunity to Push Back Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence does not discriminate. This crime affects thousands of people, no matter their age, race or economic background.
Most domestic violence victims are women, but this is not just a women’s issue. Men must be part of the solution to end the pattern of abuse.
Recently, the National Football League has taken heat for how it sanctions players who commit a domestic violence crime.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave a mere two-week suspension to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. This man knocked his fiancée unconscious, then dragged her out of an elevator. Rice pled not guilty, but the video doesn’t lie. Sadly, his fiancée is now his wife.
If a two-week suspension is the “punishment” for knocking a woman unconscious, then there is something very wrong with the NFL culture.
This week in a letter to Goodell, I told him I’m appalled that he promotes permissive disciplinary procedures that could ultimately result in the death of innocent people.
NFL quarterback Michael Vick served 2 years in prison for running a dog-fighting ring, but an NFL player who commits a violent crime against a woman gets a two-week suspension. The NFL mandates harsher penalties for players who violate the league’s personal-conduct policy or abuse drugs than those who commit domestic violence. This defies common sense.
Taking thugs and wife beaters off the field may be bad for business, but the NFL is playing games with people’s lives.
I don’t know if Commissioner Goodell is familiar with domestic violence or if it has affected his family personally. However, I can tell you firsthand that domestic violence is about a perpetrator having power and control over another individual. Too many times, it leads to murder.
I have a zero-tolerance position on domestic violence. There is no excuse for this type of behavior in our society. Until all of us make an effort to end this abuse, the cycle will continue.
NFL players are role models for young men, and many of them excel at that. But if some players are allowed to act violently toward women, then young men will think that behavior is acceptable. It tarnishes all players and gives the NFL a bad name.
This is not about winning or losing. This is about life or death. The NFL has an opportunity to change the rules. We urge Goodell to do the right thing.
Thank you for listening.