DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Is there a connection between domestic violence and the game of football? After recent revelations of NFL players Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Jonathon Dwyer and former Arizona State quarterback Jack Elway, the son of NFL great John Elway being involved in domestic violence, the question is raised.
Sports psychologist Dr. Rebecca Cook of the University of Dayton questions any claim that football, the game, creates violent behavior off the field.
“When we start looking at the statistics of how many football players are involved in domestic violence, actually the percentages are lower than the general population”, says Cook.
Dr. Cook’s position is violence on the football field is only a by product of what happens as boys grow in the sport.
“Our males are taught, all males, whether football players or musicians or whomever, are never taught to express feelings. So what we are talking about is anger”.
That anger, Cook says, is personified with the rush of adrenalin. In sports, it drives an athlete to be stronger, aggressive, better.
Cook asks, “the higher you go in a sport, the more the demand. The pressure is there, the pressure is inside. How do you express that”?