Professional baseball player Tanner Rahier was arrested on Saturday for assaulting his girlfriend by throwing rocks at her, knocking her unconscious.1 It's a horrific story of clear, uncontested abuse, but Major League Baseball (MLB) might look the other way and sign him to the big leagues if we don't speak out. In 25 years, Major League Baseball hasn't sanctioned a single player for domestic violence--making its record on abuse worse than the NFL's.2
The NBA and NHL have removed players who committed domestic violence, and the NFL has even rolled out a sweeping new policy to make sure that abusers don't play. With the news about this latest violent attack, the MLB is under a spotlight in the press. If enough of us speak out quickly, we can generate pressure to force the MLB to finally take a stand against domestic violence. Will you add your name?
The MLB severely punishes players for violations such as taking performance enhancing drugs--players like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Alex Rodriguez have been suspended or banned from the sport all together.4 But players who've committed reprehensible acts of domestic violence like Julio Lugo, Pedro Astacio, Dante Bichette, Wilfredo Cordero or Andruw Jones keep playing without repercussions.5 Much like the NFL, which until last year took drug use more seriously than domestic violence, the MLB is far more concerned by what players put in their own bodies than the harm they do to others--and it's time for that to change.
1. Reds minor leaguer accused of hitting girlfriend with rock, USA Today, March 10, 2015
2. MLB's record on domestic violence worse than NFL's, SB Nation, July 28, 2014
4. MLB players banned for drug violations, CBS News, retrieved March 11, 2015
5. It's time for MLB to follow the NFL's lead on new domestic violence punishments, Yahoo! Sports, September 10, 2014
6. 30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics that Remind Us It's An Epidemic, Huffington Post, October 23, 2014
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