Reuben Foster Domestic Violence Controversy

The National Football League (NFL) has been in an unyielding battle with domestic violence and other legal issues for years, and Reuben Foster has once again pushed the stereotype that the NFL is a league full of players who are violent towards women or can’t keep themselves out of trouble.

Foster, who is in his second year in the NFL, was arrested in late November for a misdemeanor charge for domestic violence in Tampa, Florida. According to authorities, Elissa Ennis, Foster’s ex-girlfriend, had bruises on the neck and face when the police arrived to the Grand Hyatt Hotel around 11 p.m. Foster has been arrested three times this year – two of which have been for domestic violence.

“When he got signed, I was like, I can’t believe somebody picked him up,” Ennis said when Foster was signed by the Washington Redskins. “I was shocked.”

During the trial of Foster’s first domestic violence case in May, Ennis said that Foster had not abused her in anyway and that it was all a money scheme. However, Ennis later came forward and said Foster dragged her by the hair, hit her multiple times in the face and ruptured her eardrum. The arrest was made in February, and the charges have since been dropped.

“I was not telling the truth,” Ennis said during the GMA interview. “I did what I had to do for the person I love. I thought that he would change. Anybody in my position would have did the same thing if they shared a family with this person.”

In a study done by USA Today, more than 700 NFL players have been arrested since 2000 – 40 percent being domestic violence cases. These arrests go from animal neglect to manslaughter charges. Some of the most well known domestic violence cases involving NFL players include players such as Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald, and more recently, Kareem Hunt.

“I think what we are doing as a league is extraordinary,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We have, I think, some of the highest standards of any organization. We take this very seriously. We have zero tolerance for violence against women and as a league we’ve responded very quickly. That example is being [put] on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Their off the field.”

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as C.T.E., has affected many retired players, and it seems to be something that will have a lasting effect on players’ health after retiring. Neurologist Dr. Ann McKee examined 202 deceased football players in July of 2017. It was discovered that 110 of them had traces of C.T.E. in their brains. Last year, Aaron Hernandez committed suicide while serving a life prison sentence. An autopsy report concluded that Hernandez that signs of C.T.E. in his brain. He was in prison for a first degree murder charge. Ex-NFL player Larry Johnson has expressed how he thinks C.T.E. was the cause of his violent past and assaulting of women.
Foster is currently on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which prohibits him to play in games and attend team practices. Ennis has become another victim and survivor of something that will hinder the NFL and keep the players in the stereotype of a burning flame.

“I’ve been getting help,” Ennis said during a GMA interview. “This is not love. Love won’t do you like that. This is not love.”