Benched: NFL players out amid claims of violence

Another NFL player arrested for abuse
Another NFL player arrested for abuse

    JUST WATCHED

    Another NFL player arrested for abuse

MUST WATCH

Another NFL player arrested for abuse 01:00

Story highlights

  • Jonathan Dwyer's arrest is the sixth of late after he allegedly broke his wife's nose
  • The National Football League has seen several of its players appear in mug shots
  • Groups are demanding change; one calls for ouster of Commissioner Roger Goodell
  • One NFL player was released from jail Thursday, and two took leave Wednesday
Surely, not. Sometimes things happen that propel a palm to your head. You just ask aloud, "Really?"
With the brightest of spotlights on the NFL -- and its handling of domestic violence issues threatening to tarnish the shield that represents the most profitable and popular sports league in the country -- you'd think the nation's pro football players would be on their best behavior.
So, it sparks a little incredulity when -- on the heels of five players' arrests, the indefinite suspension of a premier running back and the deactivation of two of the NFL's biggest stars -- yet another NFL player is alleged to have exacted violence against loved ones.
As women's groups demand change from the top down -- and one group is demanding the ouster of Commissioner Roger Goodell and flying banners over stadiums that say, "#GoodellMustGo" -- the bad news kept piling on the National Football League on Wednesday.
Jonathan Dwyer walked off the Arizona Cardinals' practice field and into the backseat of a Phoenix police cruiser after multiple allegations of felony assault.
It was the latest public relations debacle for the NFL, as Dwyer brought the total number of players facing domestic violence or child abuse charges to six, after July incidents in which police say he broke his wife's nose with a head butt and punched her in the face.
Here is a quick look at those players and their travails.
Adrian Peterson
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson
One of the top players in the NFL, he left the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday to deal with child abuse accusations in Texas. Peterson had been deactivated by the Vikings and missed Sunday's game, then reactivated Monday. But the team said it needed to correct its mistake and deactivated him again.
Peterson then took a leave of absence and Goodell placed him on the exempt list, which gives the team the opportunity to continue to pay him while he deals with his legal issues. At no point has Peterson been suspended.
Greg Hardy
Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy
The Carolina Panthers' defensive star also took a leave of absence because of legal troubles. As with Peterson, Hardy will be paid while he is away from the team. Hardy was convicted by a judge in July on misdemeanor assault charges. He asked for a new trial in front of a jury, which is scheduled for mid-November. Hardy played one game then was deactivated as the outrage against the NFL grew over how it was dealing with domestic violence issues.
He has proclaimed his innocence of the charges, which were filed after police said he assaulted his then-girlfriend and threatened to kill her. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation and received a 60-day suspended sentence.
Jonathan Dwyer
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer
The most recent player to be arrested, the running back is alleged to have assaulted a 27-year-old woman and an 18-month-old child. Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman, said it would be reckless to identify the victims. Dwyer, 25, spent Wednesday night in the Maricopa County Jail, and the Arizona Cardinals deactivated him. Crump said neighbors reported two incidents in July.
Dwyer posted bond and was released from jail Thursday after a judge set a $25,000 "cash-only" bond and required him to wear an electronic monitoring device and abide by a curfew. He won't be able to take part in any team activities after his release.
The woman didn't allege any violence until last week, when she called from another state, where she had moved with the child. The most serious of six charges were three counts of assault, one of which caused a fracture. CNN's attempt to reach his agent was unsuccessful.
Ray Rice
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice
The running back without a team is appealing his indefinite suspension by the league. While Rice has called punching his future wife in the head and knocking her out "inexcusable," he is seeking to have the opportunity to play in the NFL again. The players' union has complained that Rice didn't receive due process from Goodell, who suspended him in June to a two-game ban, then increased the penalty to an indefinite suspension. That came earlier this month after TMZ Sports posted a video that showed the punch.
Rice was three days away from completing the original suspension when the indefinite ban was handed down and when the Baltimore Ravens terminated his contract.
Ray McDonald
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald
On August 31, three days after Goodell created an NFL policy against domestic violence, San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested on an accusation of felony domestic violence. The new policy imposes a minimum six-game unpaid ban for first-time offenders and up to a lifetime ban for second-time offenders.
No charges have been filed in the incident involving McDonald. Neither the team nor the league has levied any discipline in the case, and the starter at left defensive tackle played the first two games of the season.
Quincy Enunwa
Quincy Enunwa, a New York Jets practice squad player
The Jets practice squad player's arrest went practically overlooked outside of the New York area. According to USA Today's "NFL Players Arrests" tracker, he was arrested on September 4.
Enunwa was charged with simple assault after a woman told police he pulled her off a bed at a hotel, causing a head injury, ESPNNewYork.com reported. He pleaded not guilty, ESPN said, adding that the player was still practicing with the team.