Major League Sports Hand Out Harsher Punishments for Animal Cruelty than Domestic Violence
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:00 PM

While football star Michael Vick’s involvement in a dog fighting ring is all over the news and could result in his expulsion from the National Football League, domestic abuse is not heavily punished by any of the American major league sports. Some women’s rights activists wonder if the reason that domestic violence is so scarcely punished could be that it is just too widespread in major league sports and would cost the leagues too much for all the guilty men to be suspended. In a three year study published by Northwestern University in 1995, researchers found that male student athletes (who make up only 3 percent of the student body) were the perpetrators in 19 percent of sexual assaults and were responsible for 35 percent of domestic violence cases on campus. Major league athletes who are found guilty of sexual assault or domestic violence often only face small fines and one or two game suspensions if they face punishment at all.

Compiled from: Kobrin, Sandra, “Beat a Woman? Plan On; Beat a Dog? You’re Gone,” Women’s e News, 21 August 2007.