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Letters: Domestic Violence And The NFL

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's time now for your comments, but first a correction of the legal variety. Last Friday, in light of the NFL domestic violence scandal, we explored how the criminal justice system handles such charges.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We spoke with Carolina's Panther's player, Greg Hardy who was recently convicted for an assault on his then girlfriend. Hardy was put on probation and given a suspended 60-day jail term while appealing his conviction.

BLOCK: Friday on the program, Andrew Klein, a researcher with Advocates for Human Potential, told us, generally domestic violence is treated less seriously than stranger assault. But after he made that point, many of you heard errors about Hardy's case - that he was charged with strangulation, and that strangulation is prosecuted as a misdemeanor in North Carolina.

MARTIN: Several prosecutors from the state wrote us to clarify. Strangulation is a felony in North Carolina if there is serious bodily injury. And Greg Hardy was not charged with strangulation. He was charged with communicating threats and with assault on a female - both of which are misdemeanors in North Carolina. We regret the error.

BLOCK: In other letters, plenty of you sounded off on our coverage of the NFL scandal. Stephanie Michaels of Minneapolis doesn't think we should call them scandals at all. She writes, calling these events a scandal puts a focus on the NFL rather than the women and, in some cases, children who are the survivors of these alleged crimes.

MARTIN: Michaels continues, I understand that the NFL might see these occurrences as a scandal they need to deal with, but for some of us, these are real charges of domestic assault that need to be treated with respect and dignity and not a PR nightmare.

BLOCK: Rod Brooks of Arlington, Virginia had a different take. He writes this - as a 24-year-old black man and an avid football fan, I've been appalled by the media's overtly biased, ratings-driven coverage of the assault on Janay Rice. Demonizing Ray Rice, Roger Goodell and the NFL will do very little to help the victims of domestic violence. He continues - instead, thoughtful discussion and analysis, like that which NPR generally engages in, is needed if we want to understand, identify, and ultimately eliminate domestic violence perpetrated against men, women, and children from our culture.

MARTIN: We appreciate all of your comments. Please keep writing. Go to npr.org and click on the word contact at the bottom of the page. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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