Scott Walker: NFL Players, Owners Should Speak Out on Domestic Violence Instead of Protesting the National Anthem

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker suggested that the NFL should spend less time protesting the national anthem and spend more time speaking out about domestic violence.

Walker penned a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith stating if players united on the issue of domestic violence, they could unite a sports league divided by the national anthem protests.

“It is time for players in the NFL to stop protests during the anthem and move on from what has become a divisive political sideshow,” Walker wrote in the letter.

“Instead, I encourage them to use their voices and influence to take a stand against domestic violence. With the NFL owners meeting occurring tomorrow, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, now would be an especially opportune time to strongly condemn domestic violence and lead the charge in supporting safe families across America,” he continued.

Walker said he was motivated to write this letter by listening to domestic abuse survivors share their experiences at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

“As I sat and heard these amazing stories, it occurred to me that NFL players could have a remarkable impact on awareness and prevention efforts if each player would agree to speak out, as well as agree to take a personal stand, against domestic violence. This is an issue that can unite people across America,” the governor wrote.

Walker sent the letter to the NFL as the football league the NFL Players Association met Tuesday to discuss the national anthem protests. The groups did not come to a finalized agreement but agreed to meet again in the next week.

Some in the NFL are speaking out about more than just protesting the national anthem. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin wrote a letter to Congress urging that members pass a bill reducing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.


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