As the saga for Ray Rice continues, sixteen White female senators have requested a zero-tolerance policy for all NFL domestic violence violators. The sixteen White female senators include Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Patty Murray (D-Wash), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash). All of the mentioned senators signed a letter voicing their displeasure for domestic violence as well as a culture that seems to protect violators from extreme punishment. The answer, according to the sixteen senators is a zero tolerance policy for all NFL players.

The zero policy request is paramount in principle to the zero-tolerance policies enforced by public schools. This public school policy has resulted in increased consequences for Black and Hispanic students. This increase in disciplinary consequences has impacted student achievement and graduation rates. Some students have made the decision to forgo school for participation, to participate in criminal activities that add to their need to survive. Some parents of these students have lost complete faith in the public school system and at times support their children’s efforts to survive. The public school zero-tolerance policies contribute to the perpetual tradition of classroom racism that has created a permanent underclass. Once the public recognized the policy contributed to the dysfunctional progress of schools, there is a movement to offset the zero-tolerance policy.

The bottom line is that the policy does not work in public schools and will not work in a predominately Black sport such as the NFL. If the NFL decides on a such a policy, expect to see more a disproportional discipline trend for Black players. Expect to see less Black players in the NFL and ultimately sacrificing the overall quality of the game as evidenced from the quality of many of our public schools.


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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships

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