Another day, another football player arrested for domestic violence.
Frank Clark, a senior defensive end for the University of Michigan, was arrested Sunday for allegedly attacking his girlfriend in a Perkins, Ohio hotel room. Sports analysts predict Clark will be a third-round NFL draft pick next year. It’s the latest in a string of scandals involving football players this year–including Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice and Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson–that has prompted the NFL to implement a revamped domestic violence policy.
But Drew Pittman, a Christian NFL sports agent whose firm has negotiated almost $1 billion in player contracts, claims we’re missing the real problem. He says America–not just sports–is experiencing an epidemic of men who are not equipped to be husbands and fathers. He’s compiled stories and principles from his career in a new book, First Team Dad: Your Playbook for a Winning Family (foreword by Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy), and argues that our real problem is ungodly men. Here we discuss his book, sports scandals, and what he believes every parent can learn about parenting and marriage from professional sports.
RNS: All the scandals association with the National Football League lately make people wonder if there is a family crisis among those in the organization. What do you say?
DP: [tweetable]The domestic violence problem is not an NFL problem, it’s a societal problem.[/tweetable] One in four women will suffer violence at the hand of their spouse or boyfriend. When it involves an NFL player, it makes the news. But there is a crisis in our country, and the world really, with men behaving poorly. There are too many fatherless homes and too many homes where the dad has not been taught how to be a real man, a godly man, so the problem is perpetuated. If we can make the NFL a place where these high profile men are ambassadors for men behaving well, we can have a very positive affect on society.
RNS: I’ve heard people say they think that playing football makes a person more aggressive, and maybe that is why we find domestic abuse cases within the NFL. How do you react?