Disturbing new details have emerged in the domestic violence case against Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer.
A newly released police report describes two altercations between Dwyer and his 27-year-old wife, on July 21 and 22. According to police, Dwyer head-butted his wife and broke her nose after she bit his lip to stop his sexual advances in the first incident. The cops were called to their home by a neighbor who overheard their arguing.
According to the police, Dwyer’s wife said the NFL star had threatened to kill himself in front of her and their child if she alerted authorities to the alleged assault.
In the second altercation, Dwyer allegedly punched his wife on the side of the face and threw a shoe, which hit their 18-month-old son in the stomach, according to police.
Dwyer was arrested Wednesday night and charged with assaulting his wife and their son.
Dwyer is the third high-profile NFL running back to be the subject of controversy in the last two weeks. Ray Rice was suspended from the league indefinitely and cut by the Baltimore Ravens after a graphic video which showed him punching out his then-fiancee in February was made public last Monday. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson was deactivated this week after being indicted on an injury to a child charge.
The Cardinals deactivated Dwyer shortly after his arrest. He will be exempt from playing football, but will continue receiving pay.
“We will continue to closely monitor this as it develops and evaluate additional information as it becomes available,” the Cardinals said in a statement on Wednesday. The NFL will also be reviewing Dwyer’s case under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
According to ABC News, 57 NFL players have been arrested on a domestic violence charges since Roger Goodell become the commissioner in 2006. However, a new NBC News/Marist poll has found that Americans are still very food of football despite two straight weeks of overwhelmingly bad press. Nearly 90% of Americans and football fans say the negative stories haven’t changed their pro-football viewing habits, and less than a third of respondents – 29% – believe that Goodell should resign from his job. Still, the majority of those polled think the league has done a poor job of responding to domestic-violence allegations against players.
Adding to the criticism flooding the NFL over domestic abuse by its players, three senators also introduced a bill on Thursday to revoke the league’s tax exempt status for the using Washington’s controversial team name. ”American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize a $9 billion league that promotes a dictionary-defined racial slur,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington.
Meanwhile, Arizona News 12 reporter William Pitts tweeted on Thursday that the Cardinals also cut running back Chris Rainey from their practice squad. Rainey has a “history” of alleged acts of domestic violence that the team was previously aware of, according to Pitts.
NBC Sports reported on September 9 that the Cardinals picked up Rainey from the Pittsburgh Steelers, who released him following allegations that he slapped his girlfriend. He later plead no contest to disorderly conduct in connection with that incident. In 2010, Rainey was arrested on an aggravated stalking charge after allegedly sending threatening text messages to a woman he was dating. He later plead guilty to a misdemeanor stalking charge.
According to NBC Sports, Rainey was charged with driving on a suspended license and ”defiant trespass” during his rookie season with the Steelers, and he was cut by the Colts in August for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
The Chicago Bears’ superstar wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who has been widely hailed for being a public face for bipolar disorder, spoke to the press on Thursday after attorney Gloria Allred held a press conference Wednesday alleging the NFL ignored domestic violence accusations made against him five years ago.
“It’s not an epidemic in NFL, it’s an epidemic in our world. The more we talk about it, the more people will be healed, and we’ll begin to see things change,” Marshall said on the topic of domestic violence. “There are some communities that think it’s really OK, fighting, yelling, because that’s all they see. That’s why I say you’re a product of your environment … that’s what you think a relationship should be. Now we’re creating a picture of this is how a marriage looks, a relationship looks,” Marshall told reporters.
Marshall revealed that his own mother had been sexually assaulted when he was a child. “I didn’t understand when I was a child until i was at hospital that I was dealing with those issues. My mom was depressed, alcoholic, I saw a lot of pain and suffering. the scariest thing was that she was isolated for years just thought she was a mean person at times,” he said.
While Marshall acknowledged that Allred made some points on abuse he agrees with, he vehemently denied sexually assaulting or physically abusing her client, his former girlfriend Rasheedah Watley. Marshall claimed that Watley would repeatedly attack him. “One of the things that always frightened me was how vulnerable I’d be to women because of incidents in the past, and that’s what I’m afraid of for guys,” Marshall told reporters on Thursday,
“We were aware of his personal background when we traded for him in 2012 and equally aware of the tremendous efforts he made to bring positive changes in his life and in the lives of all the people around him,” Bears general manager Phil Emery told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday. “Since his arrival, Brandon has thrived in an environment that has been supportive.
“He has been a very positive, thoughtful and proactive leader and role model. He has acknowledged his past struggles and shared his story in an effort to help others improve their daily lives,” he added.
Moments after news of Dwyer’s arrest broke on Wednesday, the CEO of PepsiCo, a major sponsor of the league, released a strongly worded and personal statement on the allegations of domestic violence by NFL players. The company did not go so far as to back out of its sponsorship deal with the NFL.
“I am a mother, a wife and a passionate football fan. I am deeply disturbed that the repugnant behavior of a few players and the NFL’s acknowledged mishandling of these issues, is casting a cloud over the integrity of the league and the reputations of the majority of players who’ve dedicated their lives to a career they love,” CEO Indra Nooyi said. She also expressed support for embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, saying, “I know him to be a man of integrity, and I am confident that he will do the right thing for the league in light of the serious issues it is facing.”
Verizon released a statement on Thursday, in which the company pledged to help the NFL prevent domestic violence. “We intend to use our leverage and our leadership to keep the dialogue going on an issue that’s been tucked behind closed doors for way too long, and we’ll continue to work with our partners at the NFL to be a voice for change and a force for good, not just in the league but in our society as a whole,” their CEO Lowell McAdam said.
According to NBC News, a ”Goodell Must Go” banner was flown above the Georgia Dome, the site of Thursday’s prime time NFL game.
Dwyer stood before a judge Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court, posted $25,000 bond and was released from a county jail on Thursday. He was forbidden to contact the alleged victim, to possess any weapons or to consume any alcohol. Dwyer has also been restricted from travelling outside of Arizona.
When asked by reporters about his alleged acts of violence, Dwyer said, “I’d never hurt my son.”